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Manuel: Chase Utley is “slowly getting better”

Apr 14, 2011, 7:33 PM EST

utley pose Getty Images

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is finally beginning to show signs of progress in his ongoing recovery from right knee tendinitis.

According to Dave Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, Utley has been cleared to start a running program and did some light jogging on Wednesday without feeling any abnormal discomfort in his knee.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel expressed some optimism about his All-Star second baseman on Thursday, but cautioned that Utley is not close to returning to the major league starting lineup.

“It’s still the same,” Manuel said. “It’s a day-to-day thing. He’s slowly getting better. He’s slowly feeling better. Hopefully, he keeps going that way.”

The Phillies have given most of the open playing time at second base to Wilson Valdez, who has rewarded them with a cool .353/.389/.441 batting line and five RBI through 37 plate appearances. That high level of production won’t last, but the Fightin’ Phils have enough pitching and enough other pieces to remain near the top of the National League East standings until Utley is finally ready to roar.
  1. cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    If he’s jogging now then I have him @ 2 weeks, 3 max for him to be ready to go. He shoulda done this in the off season since his knee was bugging him last year, too.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Should have done what in the off season? Taken time off?

      • cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:05 PM

        chondromalacia rehab. He has had inflammation under his kneecap since last season. The rehab is ~6 weeks of non-impact thigh strengthening exercise and non surgical therapy (physio etc). Ignoring it makes it worse.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        Ok, thanks for the answer. Yeah, if he was experiencing the symptoms previously then he should have addressed them sooner.

  2. macjacmccoy - Apr 15, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Even if he feels ready to go in 2 weeks I hope he takes an extra week or 2 just to make sure. The Phillies dont need him to be back faster just to be in pain in august. If another month of rest means he will have no more symptoms of this injury for the rest of the season then by all means take a seat.

    • mercyflush - Apr 15, 2011 at 7:38 AM

      Agreed. As long as they are winning and close to the top of the standings, Utley should take all the time he needs so he’s 100% (or as close to it as possible) for the second half of the season.

    • bleedgreen - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      Even if he’s ‘ready’ put him on the bench and pinch hit him for a week or two. Valdez is just as capable a fielder as Utley, and I’d venture there isn’t much difference between everyday hitting Valdez and a rusty out of sync Utley. If he can pinch hit to get his timing down, then do it.

  3. Jonny 5 - Apr 15, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    This team is DEEP! Take it easy UT, get better soon.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      I’ll see what I can do alright, Jonny?

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