New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has reportedly suffered a strained right calf muscle, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. Jeter suffered the injury while coming out of the batter’s box on a fly ball in the fifth inning Monday night. The Yankees lost that game to the Cleveland Indians 1-0.
The Yankees might place Jeter, who currently has 2,994 hits, on the 15-day disabled list if he is not able to fully play. The team will sit down with the shortstop, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman stated on the ESPN New York 1050 “Michael Kay Show” that it might be better to be “safe than sorry.”
Jeter was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital and underwent an MRI. The test reportedly showed that he had a Grade 1 calf strain. If this report is correct, Jeter strained the muscle of his calf – the gastrocnemius/soleus muscle – above his Achilles tendon or at the junction of the muscle and the tendon. Grade 1 means that he essentially caused a very mild tear but that there likely is no defect, or complete tear, of the muscle. Those injuries, while painful, usually heal on their own and do not require surgery.
If Jeter goes on the disabled list, the team will likely have him complete a course of physical therapy to use modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation to try to stimulate healing. They will likely avoid aggressive stretching or strengthening until the muscle heals more to avoid aggravating the strain. As his symptoms improve, they will allow him to jog and then progress to baseball-specific drills. The time it takes for him to get back to play (and resume his chase for 3,000 hits) will really depend on how quickly the calf muscles heal and his ability to perform his baseball duties. Likely he will be back in 1-3 weeks.