He's still at least a few weeks away from having his name on the lineup card, but Chase Utley will be back with the Phillies today, marking another — albeit small — step toward returning to the field. Utley has been rehabbing a knee injury in Arizona for the past month, but he's progressed enough that the Phillies want to get an up-close look at him during workouts before shipping him to Florida, where he could soon get into extended spring training games. "He'll be with us, take batting practice with us, and then go to Clearwater probably Sunday or Monday," Charlie Manuel said. Utley worked out with the Phillies during their trip to Arizona last month, saying his knees had improved greatly, and that he felt no pain when hitting. On the field, however, Utley admitted there was still some mild discomfort, but added that he expected to play through some pain when he returned to the lineup. "I'm not going to wait until I feel the strongest I've ever felt," Utley said in Arizona. "I don't know if that's realistic. I think just trying to gain more strength in my legs and keeping the flexibility will be beneficial not only now but in the long run."
Utley joins Phillies as his rehab intensifies
Courier-Post | May 5