Derek Jeter said his fractured left ankle is healing as expected – putting him in line to start at shortstop on opening day. "We have a long way to go before the season starts, but I'll be ready," the Yankees captain told Michael Kay on ESPN Radio on Monday.

Also, Jeter laughed off a recent tabloid photograph that suggested he'd gained weight during his convalescence.

"I guess there's a lot of things you can do with a picture. Evidently, I haven't been staying in shape," Jeter said in disputing that notion.

Jeter will shed his walking boot in a few weeks and begin his usual off-season conditioning program. The captain played for weeks on an injured ankle that gave way during Game 1 of the ALCS.

Wright on

Mets manager Terry Collins spoke briefly to David Wright after the third baseman agreed to an eight-year, $138 million contract that should be formalized by his presence here Wednesday. "I just said congratulations. And thanks for staying."

Collins is hoping to have ace R.A. Dickey for years to come, too. "We're doing our due diligence to make it happen," Collins said. But the Mets will seek trade partners if they fail to extend the NL Cy Young award winner's contract, which expires after the 2013 season.