Hoping to return to the field in 2014 on a full-time basis, long-time New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice this week for the first time since the 2013 season. The 40-year-old five-time World Series champion was only available to the Yankees for 17 games last season due to hampering injuries stemming from a broken ankle he suffered in the 2012 postseason. Jeter was hoping to have a productive 2013 campaign after breaking his right ankle in the American League Championship series the year prior but after appearing in just 5 spring training games, Jeter broke the ankle again during an April rehab session.

Excited about the opportunity to rejoin his teammates on a full-time basis, the 13-time MLB All-Star said recently that the comeback process has gone well early and he hopes to be ready to go for Opening Day. “Everything is good so far, knock on wood,” Jeter said. “My job is to be ready to play. I remember when I was 35, everyone said that was it. He can’t play anymore. End of my career. So, it’s really nothing different. Eventually, somebody is going to be right, you know what I mean? You’re going to run out of numbers.”

In 19 seasons with the Yankees, Derek Jeter has been one of the most productive players in the game. Collecting over 3,000 hits to go along with 1,261 RBI’s, 256 home runs and 348 stolen bases, the Yankees captain is a big reason why New York has claimed five World Series championships since the shortstop joined the Major Leagues in 1996. Though his 2013 campaign was cut short by injury, allowing Jeter to bat just .190 with one home run and seven RBI’s, the five-time Gold Glove Award winner believes he’ll be able to get back to strong form since his rehab schedule is ahead of schedule.

“This offseason is like a normal offseason,” he said. “I'm four months ahead of where I was last year. Last year, quite honestly, I want to forget about it.”

New York begins their quest for a 28th championship on April 1 against the Houston Astros.