Utley Heading to Florida; Will Play In Games

Finally some good news has officially surfaced for Chase Utley and his injured left knee.

Rehabbing with the team for the past month, Utley’s knee looked strong enough for him to head down to Clearwater. Utley will go there tomorrow and begin playing in Spring Training games immediately.

“I’m excited about it,” said Utley, who has miss the season’s first two months with chondromalacia in his left knee. “I’ve made some progress in the next two months and I’m ready to take the next step.”

Utley also said that he doesn’t have a time frame on a return. “My whole goal is to feel comfortable and feel that I can contribute on a daily basis,” he added.

As Ryan Lawrence also pointed out on his Twitter, “this isn’t beginning of an official rehab; its getting ABs in extended spring. Last year he began official rehab May 10 and activated May 24.”

Utley could spend more time in Florida than he did last year, partly due to the fact his bat wasn’t that good right away.

“We’ll have to see. I didn’t swing the bat that great initially last year,” Utley said. “My whole goal is to feel comfortable not only in the batter’s box but on the field as well.”

It’s still a huge step in the right direction for the second baseman’s much awaited return.

The question now is where will Utley play when he returns. Charlie Manuel wants to keep Freddy Galvis in the lineup even when Utley returns.

That dilemma has caused rumors and speculation to surface that Utley could try his hand in left field or first base.


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