Chase Utley is scheduled to return to the Philadelphia Phillies as early as Wednesday, and it won't be a moment too soon. Or, if you look at it another way, it's 75 moments too late.

If Utley does make his season debut at second base for the Phillies this week, how long he stays there is anybody's guess.

When they take the field on Wednesday, the Phillies will have played exactly 400 regular-season games since they last made the World Series, in 2009. Utley, the everyday second baseman in Philadelphia, has played in just 218 of them. (To be fair, he did play in all of Philadelphia's 14 playoff games since 2009.)

Last season, Utley didn't start the 2011 campaign until May 23, missing the first 47 games because of a knee injury everyone at the beginning of spring training thought would be all set to start the season. Last year, the Phillies were in first place by two games when Utley returned, appearing in all but 12 of the team's final 115 games of the season. The 2011 Phillies went on to win a franchise-record 102 games, increasing their stellar winning percentage from .617 without Utley to .635 with him.

Things sure have been different this season in Philadelphia.