SS Derek Jeter said he is certain he will return to the Yankees this season at the same level that made him one of baseball's top players.
In a jocular mood and wearing pinstriped pants Thursday, Jeter expressed frustration in learning last week that there was a new break in the ankle, an injury that has sidelined him since Game 1 of the AL Championship Series in October. He likely will be out until after the All-Star break.
Still, he never wavered in his confidence that he will run without a limp to the shortstop position that has been his since 1996.
"When you have doubt, that's when you're in trouble. I have been told this bone will heal, and when it heals, I'll be ready to go," said Jeter, who turns 39 in June. "It's frustrating I can't magically make it heal sooner than it's taken."
"He's just not ready," manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll just go day by day."
Jeter has a date in mind for his return but isn't saying when it is: "The last time line I set, I didn't make. I don't want to disappoint myself or anyone else."
YANKS PROSPECT ARRESTED: Mason Williams, a 21-year-old outfield prospect with the Class A Tampa Yankees, was arrested early Thursday, police said, accused of driving under the influence. Williams submitted to a breath test, which measured his blood-alcohol level around 0.06, below the level at which the law presumes a driver to be impaired. Williams faces a DUI charge. He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and released later in the morning on $500 bail.
VERLANDER THUMB ISSUE: Tigers RHP Justin Verlander left the game against the Royals in the eighth with what the team called cracked skin on his throwing thumb. He is day to day.
NO CHANGE FOR OLYMPICS: Commissioner Bud Selig said Major League Baseball won't alter its schedule to boost the sport's chances of getting back into the Olympics after IOC president Jacques Rogge said the top athletes should be made available. "We can't stop our season in August. We just can't," Selig said. The IOC board meets next month to select one or more sports for consideration by September's IOC general assembly.
OBITUARY: Former Braves pitcher Rick Camp died at home in Rydal, Ga. He was 60. The cause of death wasn't immediately known. Camp is perhaps best remembered for his 18th-inning tying homer off Tom Gorman on July 4, 1985, a game the Mets won 16-13 in 19 innings. The last out was at 3:55 a.m. and followed by fireworks, prompting calls to police from Atlanta residents awakened by the commotion. It was the only big-league homer for Camp (.074 lifetime average). He was sentenced in 2005 to three years in prison for conspiring to steal more than $2 million from a mental health agency.
Times staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report.