NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter is rejoining the New York Yankees following a nine-month layoff.
The 39-year-old captain was in the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Kansas City Royals. He is the designated hitter, batting second.
Jeter broke his left ankle during the AL championship series opener against Detroit last Oct. 13. He had said he would return by opening day, then fractured the ankle again in April during his rehabilitation.
A 13-time All-Star with a .313 career average, Jeter hopes to jolt a batting order that is next to last in runs in the AL. The Yankees started Thursday fourth in the AL East at 49-42.
New York hopes to get third baseman Alex Rodriguez back this month following January hip surgery and center fielder Curtis Granderson next month after his broken pinkie has healed. First baseman Mark Teixeira is out for the season following wrist surgery.
Jeter went 1 for 9 during a four-game injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that started Saturday, including 0 for 3 during seven innings Wednesday night.