Jeter a long way from coming back

Derek Jeter is not even hitting right now. Jeter is not even fielding right now. Jeter is not even running right now.

Jeter is not even close to getting in a minor league game or a simulated game.

So even Jeter, for all his positive traits and accomplishments, wasn't going to be ready by Saturday when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

"He won't be ready," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

Cashman doesn't want to create expectations if he doesn't have to, so Cashman won't put a timetable on Jeter's return. There is a good chance the Yankees really have no idea and aren't really hiding anything.

At this point, Jeter is only doing a throwing program and physical therapy. When he finally returns to the field, it is going to be a slow windup to the majors because Jeter has only played five innings in any one game so far. He and the Yankees need to know his ankle can handle the rigors of a major league schedule.

So first he has to start doing some baseball activities. Then he must be able to stand and play on that ankle for a few innings. Eventually, he must play a full game and then back-to-back games. Until he does all that, Jeter won't be the Yankees' shortstop.

When will he be ready? The Yankees don't really know. Jeter probably doesn't know, either. It was never going to be April 6. There was always a better chance it would be May 6.