Chase Utley Injury: Phillies Star Returns From Knee Injury

Chase Utley's degenerative knee condition has kept him out for the season so far. Now, he's on a rehab assignment.

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12 Total Updates since March 19, 2012
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Chase Utley Returns To Phillies

At last, our long regional nightmare is over. Chase Utley was once the very best second baseman in the game, and he was on a Hall of Fame track. His knees were uncooperative pools of bone and gaseous cartilage, though, so it's been a while since we've seen him on a baseball field.

Good news, then:

Utley rejoins a Phillies team that isn't where he left it. The Phillies are in last place, and the offense is struggling miserably. In Utley's absence, a cavalcade of second basemen have hit poorly, combining for a .246/.271/.381 line that was the worst of any non-pitcher position on the team.

In 10 minor-league rehab games, Utley did worse than that, actually, hitting .189/.279/.351 between A-ball and Triple-A. But he's still Chase Utley, and it's hard to see how he couldn't help. Even if he stands on one leg in the batter's box like a sleeping flamingo, he is probably still the best hitter the Phillies have in the infield.

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Chase Utley Could Return Wednesday From DL

Chase Utley could soon return from rehabbing his injury-prone knees and be back in the Phillies lineup as early as Wednesday.

Utley has not hit particularly well in his 20-day stint in the minor leagues. His rehab assignment ends July 1, and it appears Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wants Utley back with the club as soon as possible.

Jim Salisbury has more at CSNPhilly.com:

Utley played eight innings at second base for Single A Clearwater on Saturday night. It marked the first time he had played defense in consecutive games on his chronically sore knees since October. Playing defense on back-to-back days was considered an important step in Utley’s return to the active roster.

Utley is now expected to travel to Philadelphia for the final stage of his rehab assignment. That is likely to include his playing in one more minor-league game, probably Tuesday at Triple A Lehigh Valley, before being activated for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh – provided there are no setbacks.

In nine games with Single A Clearwater, Utley has batted .156 with a homer and five RBIs in 32 at bats.

Get the latest updates on our Chase Utley Injury StoryStream. For more on the Phillies, please visit The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly.

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Chase Utley Might Rejoin Phillies Next Week

Despite the fact that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is hitting just .217/.308/.348 in his six rehab-assignment games, he could be very close to rejoining the major league squad:

“Going well”, one presumes, is to have Utley be able to play defense and run without having his knee troubles recur. Since he’s been able to play every day, that appears to be what’s happening.

Utley could spend up to 20 days in a rehab assignment — currently, he’s playing at Class-A Clearwater — but it would appear that manager Charlie Manuel would like to have the former All-Star back as soon as possible. The Phillies, racked with injuries all season, currently stand eight games out of first place in the NL East, but at just four games under .500, could still get back in the race.

So goes their thinking, anyway.

For more on the Phillies, please visit The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly.

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Chase Utley Booed In First Rehab Game

The Phillies' second baseman, coming back from a knee injury, played in his first rehab-assignment game Tuesday. It did not go well.

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Chase Utley Set To Play In Extended Spring Training

When last we left the Chase Utley return saga, he was fielding ground balls during batting practice. That was 18 days ago, on May 17.

Time marches on. The Phillies are in last place, although with a winning record and just 3½ games out of first place. They’d clearly love to have their former All-Star second baseman back, presuming he is ready to play.

And now he is going to play! Although, not in an actual league game anywhere:

It’s getting kind of late for extended spring training. Many of the players there will be off to short-season leagues soon. But Chase Utley plugs on, working his way back to the Phillies. Given this time frame, it could still be some time before Utley goes on a minor-league rehab assignment, and even longer before we see him with the major-league Phillies.

For more on the Phillies, please visit The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly.

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