TAMPA — Derek Jeter stopped to field the question, but the answer was obvious Wednesday night in how he walked — briskly and limp-free — down the red carpet for his Turn 2 Foundation event at the Seminole Hard Rock.
How is his fractured left ankle?
"Great," he said. "The leg is good. How's it look?"
The Yankees shortstop, injured dramatically in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series, said he considers himself on schedule in recovery from Oct. 20 surgery to return for the April 1 opener. "Why not?"
Jeter, 38, shed the protective boot just after Christmas and has been limited to pool treadmill work thus far, with running a pending test. He said he has been cleared for baseball activities but doesn't typically start until late January anyway. "In terms of baseball activities I'm right where I need to be," he said.
Wednesday's event kicked off his 10th annual golf classic, benefiting the foundation, which funds youth-related programs in Tampa, New York and his hometown of Kalamazoo, Mich. Among those supporting the cause Wednesday were Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, new Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez and actor Kevin Connelly.
"This is great," Jeter said. "In order for us to have our foundation and be productive with our foundation we need support from the community, and we've got that here, and obviously in New York and Michigan, too."
Jeter isn't much of a golfer anyway, but he will have to make one concession to the injury at Friday's event: "I'm just putting."
Rays in on Farnsworth: The Rays are among finalists for free-agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who spent the past two seasons in their bullpen, going 6-7, 2.76 with 25 saves in 97 appearances. Farnsworth, 36, is expected to decide in the next few days.