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Derek Jeter will play in first minor league rehab game on Thursday

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Derek Jeter is ready to begin his third minor league rehab assignment of the season.
Derek Jeter is ready to begin his third minor league rehab assignment of the season. (USATSI)

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Derek Jeter will play five innings at shortstop for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced. The team's captain is unlikely to be activated off the DL in time for Friday's series opener against the Rays.

Jeter, 39, is rehabbing from a Grade 1 calf strain. He was eligible to come off the DL this past Sunday. Jeter has been on the DL with a leg injury three times this year -- first with a fractured ankle, second with a quad strain, and now with the calf strain.

In five games between injuries, Jeter had gone 4 for 19 (.211) with a home run, two walks and zero strikeouts. During his absence, the Yankees have used five different starting shortstops. They've combined to hit a meager .224/.285/.309 (77 OPS+) overall.

The Yankees are still without Mark Teixeira (wrist), Kevin Youkilis (back), Travis Hafner (shoulder) and Michael Pineda (shoulder). They come into Wednesday 6.5 games back of both the Red Sox in the AL East and the Athletics for the second wild-card.

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