Shortstop Derek Jeter visited the orthopedic surgeon in Charlotte, N.C., who mended his fractured left ankle last October, and departed today with "final clearance" to play in games, manager Joe Girardi said.

"It went great," Girardi said after the team’s 7-6 loss to St. Louis. "I know he was cleared by the doctors. He can resume all activities."

Of course, Jeter will not immediately hop into the lineup. The Yankees hope Jeter can make his Grapefruit League debut after this weekend. Girardi intends to speak with Jeter tomorrow once the team returns from their two-day trip to the east coast of the state.

The Yankees made clear that Jeter’s appointment had been scheduled far in advance.

Jeter has said the final hurdle before he can start playing games is running the bases full speed. He has only jogged thus far.Once he starts playing, Jeter will start as a designated hitter. In time, he will play the field at shortstop.

As Girardi considers his options for replacing Mark Teixeira, he does not intend to use Eduardo Nunez much at third base. He needs Nunez ready to replace Jeter at shortstop during the regular season.

"Part of that depends on Derek, too, when we see where Derek is in the next two weeks," Girardi said. "Where’s he at? How much do you think you’re going to need Nuney? I believe (Jeter’s) going to be ready to go. But until I can actually say that for sure, you have to prepare for it."