Derek Jeter’s playoff luck runs out. (Kathy Willens / AP)

It seems incomprehensible, but the New York Yankees will be involved in a playoff game today and Derek Jeter will not.

The Yankees’ shortstop broke his left ankle in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday and, this being Jeter, he had to be told “You cannot play through this” by team physician Chris Ahmad. Jeter had been helped off the field after attempting to make a play he has made a jillion times, fielding the ball as he moved to his left. This time, Jeter, who had a bone bruise in his ankle in September and bone bruise in his foot in the American League Division Series, could not get up. 

Now, the Yankees are without him for the rest of the playoffs. Jeter will have tests to determine whether surgery is necessary and Manager Joe Girardi said the injury was not career-threatening. For now, though, seeing the Yankees without him will take some getting used to; Jeter’s postseason presence is unparalleled. At 38, he has nearly an entire season’s worth of games (158) in the postseason. No one has more. Nor does anyone have more postseason hits (200) or runs scored (111).

Girardi told reporters early Sunday morning how disappointing the injury was for Jeter. 

“It’s Derek,” he said (via Jeff Bradley of the Star-Ledger). “You know how badly he wants to play. He’ll play it off well, and he’ll be the tough guy, mentally and physically that he is, but this is what he lives for.”

This has been an unusual season of injuries for the Yankees, who lost Mariano Rivera in the spring to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Now, Jayson Nix will step into Jeter’s spot at shortstop.

“You never want to lose a Derek Jeter. You don’t. We didn’t want to lose Mariano Rivera, either,” Girardi said. “And what did Rafael Soriano do, 42 out of 46? So it’s a chance for somebody to step up. I’m not going to devalue Derek Jeter and what he means to this club, but a lot of people thought we were done when Mo went down. And a lot of people thought we were done in August. It’s okay. The team rose to the occasion and won 95 games in a very tough American League. We’ll find a way to get it done.”

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