It’s a small step and does not guarantee the rehab process can be accelerated, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi was upbeat about Derek Jeter getting on a baseball field and doing something more than long tossing.

“[Friday] he took ground balls and soft toss in the cage, and I am sure he is doing the same [Saturday],” Girardi said before Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Tigers. “He is on the field, he took some ground balls at him, so that’s better than it was last week or even Thursday.”

Saturday, Jeter fielded 41 grounders hit directly at him, hit off a tee in a batting cage and played catch, including long toss.

It still does not mean the Yankees can predict when Jeter will be ready to play in a big league game. He has not participated in any type of game since March 23, when he was unable to run to first base on his surgically repaired left ankle in a minor league game.

* Curtis Granderson could resume throwing next week. Recent X-rays show the fractured bone in his right forearm is healing well. The left fielder is scheduled for more pictures Tuesday. It’s possible Granderson could be cleared to start swinging a fungo bat.

* As will be the case in each city the Yankees visit this year, Mariano Rivera’s career will be honored Sunday during a pregame, on-field ceremony at Comerica Park. Rivera, who says this is the final season, does not know what the Tigers have planned for him.

* With Jeter in Tampa and Eduardo Nunez unable to throw or hit, the Yankees were down to Jayson Nix as their only experienced shortstop.

Nunez was drilled by a pitch in the right bicep by Doug Fister on Friday. Though he had hoped to be available to pinch-hit or pinch-run, Nunez said he was not able to take swings in the cage or throw.