It took just one game for him to land back on the shelf.
An MRI revealed the Yankees shortstop and captain has a Grade 1 strain of his right quadriceps. He will miss the team's final three games before the All-Star break, and he will be re-evaluated after that.
"It could resolve after that time frame, it could take more time, and I can't rule out ultimately a disabled list [stint]," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Jeter suffered the injury during Thursday's win over the Royals. He was activated prior to the game after missing the season up until now recovering from a broken ankle. Jeter served as the designated hitter, going 1-for-4 before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
He had to run hard to beat out an infield single in the first inning, as well as on groundouts in the second and fifth, and said his quad tightened up during his third at-bat.
"It's frustrating. I don't know what else you want me to say," Jeter said in a team news release Friday. "I worked hard to get to the point of rejoining the team yesterday. It's not how you draw it up, but hopefully I'll be back out there soon and help this team win some games."
The Yankees' original plan was for Jeter to play one more game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday as the RailRiders' DH before re-joining the big club Friday. Cashman called Jeter up one day earlier because of injuries to Brett Gardner and Travis Hafner on Wednesday.
"Thought it was a safe harbor because it was a DH situation," Cashman said. "All the reports were he was running extremely well and responding well. But obviously the intensity at Yankee Stadium or another major league environment is obviously more, and certainly stuff can happen."
Jeter played four games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier in the week without incident, going 1-for-9 with four walks, and playing 17 innings at shortstop.
"I guess you've gotta be careful even when it's just a DH situation," Cashman said. "If there's a lesson to be learned on that, moving up one day appeared to be a harmless circumstance at the time. But listen, you go through the [rehab] process for a reason."
Manager Joe Girardi was asked about his shortstop's frame of mind.
"Feisty. Probably, he wants to play tonight. Pretty normal Derek Jeter stuff," Girardi said. "His frame of mind is good. He wants to give it a shot after these seven days, to see where he's at."
The fourth-place Yankees (50-42) wrap up the first half of the season with a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins in the Bronx this weekend. They open up the second half July 19 at Fenway Park against the first-place Boston Red Sox.
Girardi will be working with a short bench for the next three days.
"Not a big deal. We'll get through it," he said. "As long as a couple guys don't have something happen today, we'll be fine."
Gardner, who suffered a right shin contusion Wednesday and was relegated to pinch-hitting duties Thursday, is back in the lineup Friday, batting leadoff and playing center field. Hafner, who suffered a left-foot contusion Wednesday, is not in the lineup, with the Yankees facing a left-hander (Scott Diamond), but Girardi expects to have Hafner available to pinch hit.
Alex Rodriguez (hip) was scheduled to play seven innings at third base for the Class A Tampa Yankees on Friday as he continues his minor league rehab work, but the game was rained out. Outfielder Curtis Granderson (finger) has been taking swings underwater, and was cleared Thursday to begin taking open-air swings.
Rodriguez could return to the Yankees shortly after the All-Star break. Granderson's return appears to be considerably later; he is not yet swinging off a tee or taking batting practice.
Cashman did not rule out making other moves before the July 31 trading deadline, but indicated the Yankees are counting on Jeter, Rodriguez and Granderson to give them a boost.
"When they're healthy, they're getting plugged in. And we'll be willing to sink or swim with them," he said. "Don't misunderstand that we're not gonna try to reinforce other aspects when we can, and if we can. But we really do look forward to getting those guys back when they're healthy."