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Strained right calf could land Jeter on DL again

SAN DIEGO -- Derek Jeter has been limited to just five games this season due to injuries, and the Yankees' captain is facing the possibility of yet another stint on the disabled list.

An MRI performed on Saturday in San Diego revealed that Jeter has a Grade 1 strain of his right calf. The Yankees have not announced how they will proceed with the 39-year-old shortstop, but a decision is expected before Monday's game against the White Sox in Chicago.

This has been by far Jeter's most difficult big league season, and his frustration has been obvious.

"It's been terrible. It's been like a nightmare," Jeter said after Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Padres. "The whole season has been a nightmare. I really don't know what to tell you; I wish that wasn't the case and we were sitting here talking about something besides another injury. We'll see what happens. I have no idea."

Jeter is traveling to Chicago with the team. He has been dealing with the calf injury since last Monday, having felt a sensation something like a deep bruise after he came off the disabled list and played in a July 28 game against the Rays.

The injury is to the same calf that sidelined Jeter with a Grade 1 strain in June 2011, stalling his pursuit of his 3,000th career hit.

"It's different because when I did it last time, I felt it," Jeter said. "I was running to first base and I felt it. This time, I didn't feel anything while I was playing. It was later on that night and the next day.

"I can't pinpoint when it happened. I don't know when it happened. Maybe adrenaline got me through it, but it would be speculation if I try to figure out when I did it."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that his hope continues to be that he can write Jeter's name in the lineup on Monday, but he will not rule out the disabled list.

Because it is so late in the season, however, Girardi said he is more inclined to push Jeter through the Grade 1 strain -- the least severe strain classification -- to avoid what would be Jeter's third stint on the disabled list this season.

"[The strain] could become more, we're aware of that," Girardi said. "But as I said, it's that time of year. We've got to weigh the decision."

Jeter returned from a pair of left ankle fractures to make his season debut on July 11, injuring his right quadriceps in that game. Girardi said that Jeter's unorthodox schedule may be contributing to his repeated injuries.

"I think that if he had a normal Spring Training and he wasn't coming off the injury like he did, I don't think these things would be happening," Girardi said. "My guess is next year will be different, but only time will tell."

Jeter has four hits in 19 at-bats (.211) for the Yankees this season, owning a home run and two RBIs. Last year, Jeter led the Majors with 216 hits and batted .316.

"I've been pretty fortunate in my career not to have to deal with too many things," Jeter said. "Now it seems like I'm dealing with a lot at one time. I have no choice but to move on. Hopefully, it heals quickly and I can get back out there."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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