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Jeter: 'Stiff' ankle no big deal

CLEARWATER — Relax, Yankees fans. The captain is okay.

Derek Jeter was removed from New York's lineup against the Phillies on Tuesday for what was called precautionary reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle felt "stiff." He said he might be able to play today and didn't consider that a setback.

Jeter has mild inflammation of the ankle, an MRI exam showed. An X-ray was negative. He was listed as day-to-day.

"I'm not concerned, because I was told this was going to happen," Jeter said. "From everything I've been told by the doctors, it's normal."

The 13-time All-Star shortstop was slated to play his first road game this spring but was scratched after taking batting practice. Jeter broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the Amreican League Championship Series against Detroit last year. He played in his first spring game March 9 and is 3-for-11.

"It's just stiff, but it's not in the part that I broke; it's around it," Jeter said. "I was told I'm going to feel it around the ankle because I was in a boot for so long. It takes time to strengthen. It's normal, just have to deal with it and move on."

Earlier, manager Joe Girardi said Jeter might begin the season as a DH against the Red Sox.

Phils: Ace upbeat

CLEARWATER — A slimmer Roy Halladay is optimistic he'll be ready when the season starts.

The right-hander said he lost about 10 pounds in two days because of a stomach virus but still expected to pitch during the Phillies' first series at Atlanta. LHP Cole Hamels already was named the opening day starter, and Halladay is slated for the second game, April 3.

"My stomach is a lot better," Halladay said. "Just trying to get strength back. I'm kind of a little bit weak and jittery right now, I guess, from not eating and passing a lot of fluids and stuff. I feel better. Just trying to get that strength and energy back. Hopefully each day I will get that strength back a little bit."

BROWN STILL HOT: Pasco High's Domonic Brown hit his sixth spring homer in the Phillies' 4-1 win over the Yankees. Brown, who is hitting .397, is all but assured a starting outfield spot.

Jays: Just a bump

DUNEDIN — LHP Mark Buehrle is not overly concerned about his spring training results.

Buehrle gave up four runs and eight hits over four innings in the Blue Jays' 10-6 win over the Astros. Brandon Barnes hit a two-run homer during a four-run third off Buehrle. Houston opened the inning with five consecutive hits.

"I feel fine, I feel healthy," Buehrle said. "I just had that one inning."

GETTING HIS WORK IN: RHP R.A. Dickey, Toronto's opening day starter, pitched in a minor-league game, giving up one unearned run and one hit in two innings. The knuckleballer is scheduled to throw again in a minor-league exhibition game Friday. "It's just a matter of reproducing a good knuckleball over and over," Dickey said.

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Jeter: 'Stiff' ankle no big deal 03/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:45pm]
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