Derek Jeter’s not going to play against the college kids on Tuesday, and he’s not going on the road to Bradenton on Wednesday. The Captain’s first spring training game, then, will almost certainly come at home against the Pirates on Thursday. That game happens to be on YES Network and WFAN.

“It’s been a while since I played a game,” Jeter said. “I think everyone looks forward the first game in spring training. You want to get games under your belt. I’m looking forward to it, but don’t rush it. I told you, one day at a time.”

Girardi said the Yankees want to have Jeter run the bases one more time before he gets in a game, but right now there is no indication that he’s a step behind his teammates. He’s moved pretty well in the field, and the team has expressed no concern about the way he’s running. Jeter has dismissed every question about the health of his ankle or the strength of his legs.

“Like I told you, everything’s good,” he said.

Even with everything feeling good, it’s still not likely Jeter will make many road trips this spring. He might not get the Mariano Rivera treatment, but it’ll be close. With one exception. You can bet Jeter will be on the trip to Panama to honor Rivera in March. Girardi wouldn’t name names, but he said he’s begun reaching out to various players to ask if they’re interested in going to Panama. That’s one trip that will probably have quite a few volunteers. Is Jeter definitely going?

“What do you think?” he said, laughing. “I’m pretty sure I’ll go to Panama, I don’t know though. We’re going to Kalamazoo next year (to play) my old high school team.”

He was kidding. I think.