Derek Jeter broke his ankle in October, found another crack in it in April and injured his quadriceps in his first game of the season Thursday.
Yet, Jeter still found a sense of humor with the media.
The Yankee captain played four games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (AAA) and expected to play a fifth game Thursday night. He thought he would rejoin the Yankees on Friday, but got a call from general manager Brian Cashman at about 11 p.m. Wednesday.
"My phone actually didn't work in the clubhouse and Cashman left me a message, so I called him back and he said you're coming to play," Jeter said. "I wanted to be here, so I was happy."
The shortstop then made an overnight pilgrimage back to the Big Apple from northeast Pennsylvania shortly after an 0-3 performance for the RailRiders.
"I was on the way to the hotel, so I had to go back," he said. "Then I had to wait for my luggage from the field, my equipment, so I got to New York maybe 2:30, 3 o'clock, somewhere around there. I fell asleep at about 4."
When asked if how he made the trip, Jeter responded, "Hitchhiked," before acknowledging he got a ride.
Nine months after his last MLB appearance in the 2012 American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Jeter was back home in New York early Thursday morning. In his own bed, he was ready for a pregame good night sleep.
Jeter awoke at 6:30 could not get back to sleep. He claims he got two and a half hours of sleep at most.
"I'm on a morning schedule. When I was in Florida I went to bed at 10 and woke up at 6 every day," Jeter said referring to his time at the Yankees training facility in Tampa.
Despite more travel time then sleep, the 39-year-old made the familiar trip to the Bronx on Thursday morning. Just a few hours after heading to a Scranton hotel for sleep, Jeter was at his Yankee Stadium locker.
"I came over here and it was pretty much right to this stadium and getting ready to play," he said. "Everything happened kind of quickly for me. Then before you know it, you're on the field, you're playing, so I really didn't have much time to think about it."
Jeter played designated hitter and batted second. He went 1-for-4 with an infield single, a run scored and an RBI before leaving the game in the eighth inning with an apparent strain of his quadriceps.
Jeter was asked if his return would kick start the offense and responded with sarcasm:
"Yeah, did you see me kick-start it today?"
Perhaps Jeter popped the best one-liner on Newsday's David Lennon, who asked if Jeter makes concessions to his age being 39.
Jeter denied thinking about age and told Lennon, "We're all getting older here. I mean, I knew you when you were a lot younger."
Jeter left the press conference before 5 p.m. ET. That should give the 13-time All-Star sufficient time to rest up for the Yankees' 7:05 p.m. game against the Twins on Friday.