Derek Jeter will have surgery on his broken left ankle, and the New York Yankees say the star shortstop could need four to five months to completely recover.
The Yankees said Wednesday that Jeter will be operated on Saturday by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. The timetable the team announced means Jeter likely would be ready to return sometime between the start of spring training in mid-February and late spring training in mid-March.
General manager Brian Cashman called that a conservative estimate and left open the possibility that Jeter could come back sooner. Jeter had scans Sunday, which confirmed the fracture, and he saw Anderson on Tuesday.
"There's no new information," Cashman said. "Nothing seemed worse than what our team doctors saw."
Jeter has not accompanied the Yankees in Detroit.
Jeter, the Yankees' 38-year-old captain, broke his ankle Saturday in the 12th inning of the AL championship series opener against Detroit while trying to field a ground ball.
Cashman said the four-to-five month timetable represents when Jeter would be fully ready to come back and play in a game.
"My understanding is that it's possible he will be ready earlier than that timeframe," Cashman said. "But it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet."
New York trailed the Tigers 3-0 in the series heading into Wednesday night's game. Jeter is the latest of the team's longtime stars to go down with an injury. Mariano Rivera was lost for the season in May when he hurt his knee during batting practice.
This is the first time since 1981 the Yankees are playing in the postseason without both Jeter and Rivera.
This wasn't the first time Jeter had recent trouble with his left leg. Manager Joe Girardi pulled him from a game at Boston on Sept. 12 because of what Jeter said was a sprained ankle. Jeter was a designated hitter for the next four games.
Jeter fouled a ball off his left foot in Game 3 of the division series, again was taken out early, and was at DH the next day before returning to shortstop.