Manuel said he thinks Utley could return to the team next week if all continues to go well.
— Pat Gallen (@PatGallen_PN) June 21, 2012
“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.