Utley Update (Kind Of)
The Phillies said this morning Chase Utley has made a small improvement in his rehab.
Is this good news?
“These are kind of baby steps,” Ruben Amaro Jr. cautioned. “I can’t sit here and say this is a giant step forward or he’s going to be ready for Opening Day or anything like that. We’re comfortable with the path. It may take a while. We’ll see if he continues to show progression. Hopefully he will.”
Utley is sidelined indefinitely with patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee. The Phillies have consulted several doctors outside the organization, and Amaro said the Phillies are comfortable with the treatments and progressions Utley is making in Spring Training.
Amaro said Utley has been able to do more exercises than he had in the recent past.
“He has shown some progression in some of the exercises,” Amaro said. “I don’t think he’s taken ground balls quite yet, but some of the work he’s doing with (head athletic trainer) Scott Sheridan in his rehab, he’s doing some more things. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a huge progression, but he’s kind of taking baby steps forward, we hope. I think he’s feeling a little bit better.”
Utley has not played in the team’s first 15 Grapefruit League games, and there no indications he will play in any Grapefruit League games before Opening Day on April 1 at Citizens Bank Park. Utley has been able to take batting practice, but has been unable to run or field ground balls because of intense pain in the knee.
Utley received a cortisone injection March 4, but it offered little relief. Amaro said Utley’s incremental improvement over the past week could indicate the shot helped more than initially believed, but he could not be certain about it.
Amaro said Utley, who has received no other injections since the cortisone shot, is not scheduled to visit any knee specialists in the coming weeks.
“I don’t know if it’s good news or not good news,” Amaro said of his update. “It’s just news. It’s not a lot of news. The main thrust of this discussion is that we’ve made some consultations, we’ve done some research, and right now we’re going to stay with the rehab stuff we’re doing right now and hopefully it will keep moving forward.”