Utley’s Return Moves Even Closer
This is a big step.
It officially starts a 20-day rehab clock. Players are allowed 20 days to rehab in the Minor Leagues before they are expected to be activated — if everything is OK. Technically, Utley has tonight through May 29 to rehab. If everything goes well, Utley would be activated no later than May 30. Of course, there are stipulations. The clock can be stopped for five days if there is a setback. And obviously everything changes if the player is not healthy.
In other words, the Phillies don’t have to activate him if they do not believe he is ready. But by starting the clock the Phillies believe Utley is close to his return.
If he is healthy, I’m guessing he will not need the full 20 days.
This is just a personal guess, but if everything continues to go the way Utley and the Phillies hope, I would not be surprised to see Utley back with the Phillies sometime next week. (Again, this is just me talking.) I’m told Utley will DH tonight. He will have to play some games in the field, obviously. He also will have to play some games back-to-back to test the knee.
If he comes out of those things OK and he feels good about his swing, he might need just a week’s worth of rehab games.
His playing schedule is day to day.
Carlos Ruiz is going to play extended spring training games today and tomorrow. He could catch Roy Oswalt in a rehab game Thursday in Clearwater. The Phillies will reassess Ruiz after Thursday. They are hopeful to activate him over the weekend. … Oswalt has a scheduled bullepn today. If that goes well he will make a rehab astart Thursday. They’ll reasses after that.