Utley: No Surgery, No Retirement, I’ll Be Back

Chase Utley spoke to reporters just a few minutes ago.

Here are the highlights:

UTLEY OPENS WITH A STATEMENT: I was in Phoenix meeting with a physical therapist by the name of Brett Fischer for about four or five days, just to get some better ideas on how I can continue to move forward. I have a better idea now on how my body is supposed to move compared to how it’s moving at this time, and I think we have something pretty good for the future.

Q: Which is?
A: Obviously, I’m not going to be ready for opening day. I don’t really have a timeline on when I will be available. I will take this process fairly slow because I think it’s important to get everything around my knees working correctly. And I think it’s going to take a little bit of time. I’m disappointed. I’m upset. I’m not happy that I’m in this situation right now, but I’m not going to let that deter me and get me down. I think that going out to Arizona to talk to Brett, we came up with some better things to do. Some things I’ve already been doing. Some other stretches, some other manual theraphy, some other things that I think will definitely help.

Q: Chronic problem you’ll always have to mange?
A: I think once we get everything around my knees working correctly, I don’t know if it will be a problem. I’ve already seen benefits over the last four or five days from doing some new exercises. I’m very optimistic this is going to turn out well. But again it’s going to take a little time and I have to do this right. I think it’s important, not only for this year, but for the rest of my career. I’m 33 years old. I know some people think that’s old, but I still feel like I have a lot of baseball left in me.

Q: How is this different and similar to last year?
A: It’s fairly similar. My right knee last year was the knee that bothered me. And my left knee felt pretty good. This year it’s the complete opposite. My right knee feels very good, which is in my mind a positive. But now my left knee is a little upset. So we made osme changes last year to my right knee. It worked because it feels strong. It feels good. Now I have to make similar changes to my left knee. Again, it’ll take a little time to see how it goes.

Q: Better or worse than last year? If better, back earlier than last year?
A: Again, I’m not going to put any type of limit on this. I’m going to kind of go at the pace that my knee tells me. If it feels good I’m going to continue to forward. If it starts to act up I’m going to slow it down a little bit. But as far as pain, last year I was in more pain.

Q: Wear and tear, things start to break down …
A: I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case here. It’s a little wear and tear, but I think if I can get things moving correctly around my knees it’ll alleviate the pain.

Q: Does this mean replacing anything?
A: I’m not looking at any surgery. I’m not looking at any type of injections. I’m looking at a daily routine that consists of manual therapy, strength training, mobilization of the joints.

Q: When did this become an issue again?
A: This offseason I felt pretty good coming into camp, I felt pretty good but the more I tried to progress, it became just a little bit more uncomfortable. I slowed it down a little bit, tried to ramp it up again, and once I ramped it up again I knew it wasn’t moving that great. So at that point I decided to seek his advice.

Q: Why is surgery not an option?
A: Again, unless someone tells me there’s a surgical option that’s 100 percent, I’m not really interested in that. I think I can make adjustments with my body without surgery.

Q: Is this patellar tendinitis?
A: I think there’s some misunderstandings. I don’t have patellar tendinitis. It’s called chondromalacia, which is a roughening of the cartilage underneath the patellar. And it’s not that bad. It’s not bad enough to have microfracture surgery. It’s not bad enough to end my career. It’s an issue I’m going to have to deal with. There’s a lot of wear and tear in this game, and I just have to get things around my knee to move better to take a little pressure off my knee.”

Q: So if you manage it properly …
A: I think I can actually get it to go away, to be honest. My right knee, like I said, feels great.

Q: You’ll be back this year right?
A: I’m not going to put any time on it, but I think at the pace we’re going and the changes I’ve made in the past three or four days, it looks positive. I anticipate playing this year, absolutely, and contributing.

Q: You said you were frustrated. But how worried were you?
A: Maybe a little worried. Disappointment. Frustration. Those are things I was. But I’m not looking for anybody to feel sorry. If anything, I’m looking for a little support here. I think we’re onto something. I’m not happy that I’m not going to be on the field right away with my teammates, but we have a good squad. We have a good pitching staff. We have some veteran leaders who will allow it to not affect us.

Q: There’s been a lot of speculation out there. Like you might retire …
A: Oh. I didn’t hear that one. I’m definitely not retiring. When I went out to Arizona, I asked Ruben not to say where I was going because I didn’t think it was necessary for people to know. I appreciate the organization for respecting my wishes in that regard.

Q: Why did you feel need to be more forthcoming today. Or why didn’t you feel the need to earlier?
A: I did not feel the need. But there are a lot of rumors out there, which I don’t know how they get started. I understand you guys look for things to write about, but now you have the information so there’s no need to make things up or to speculate.


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.


Misdiagnosis and useless treatment before? “I don’t have patellar tendinitis. It’s called chondromalacia, which is a roughening of the cartilage underneath the patellar.” (sic) Chondro didn’t happen suddenly. This has been going on for years. What kind of docs do the Phils have? They don’t sound very competent.

And what about the writers? They don’t even know the difference between WRITE and RIGHT????
Come on MANNNNN, that’s worse than Jim Salisbury!!!!

He doesn’t have it now anyway, say the new doc. Things change. On problem begets another.

The diagnosis of chondromalacia isn’t new. I remember reading about it last season when the problem was his right knee (and having too look up what the heck it was), but for whatever reason, someone must have mentioned patellar tendinitis and folks ran with it.

“I understand you guys looks for things to RIGHT about” is actually spelled “write”. I would think a WRITER would know that

Looks like Todd reads the comments. It has been changed.

Pingback: Utley remains positive about knees « TTB

I would like to ask those who are being critical about the misspellings, how many books have you had published? How long have you been a professional writer for? Focus on the story itself and give Todd a break. Anyone who has read Todd for some time knows the only reason their were misspellings is because he was rushing to get the story out, one that we have all been waiting to hear. And by the way this is a blog, so the standard is and should be bit different. Cut him a break. Geez.

Guess what I’d love to have asked/answered is why didn’t Chase do the same preventive work he was doing on his right knee put to good use on his left knee as well? Why didn’t Phils trainers have BOTH his knees under the same regimen? Why did they think this condition could affect just one knee and not both?

Just real short-sighted, it seems, and it screams a basic lack of common sense. I’m no doctor or trainer, but it just makes sense to me to say, “Hey, we should be doing the same work on the left as you’re doing on the right, to make sure both knees are strong.”

I have good word from my physical therapist wife that this condition is common and minor. However, as previous commentors have mentioned, why was he not training both knees so that he wouldn’t be in this position now?

I hope Mr. Utley can digest the humble pie. It is about time for him to get it out of his system. Of course, this will also depend on Charlie mending his ways as well by not leaving Chase in games such that he looks like a rented mule come the end of August, the beginning of September.

given how Galvis has been playing, we might not even miss Utley as he was last year

Pingback: Utley Answers, But Are We Asking the Right Questions? « Phillies Phollowers

Pingback: Utley Answers, But Are We Asking the Right Questions?

FIJ: That would be a pleasant surprise. He seems to a capable defensive player however I think we might miss Chase’s bat (especially with Howard out indefinitely).

“But there are a lot of rumors out there, which I don’t know how they get started.” Maybe he should look upstairs to the GM’s office. RAJ is the one who said he has no cartilage in his knee and you can’t grow cartilage. So in defense of the RIGHTERS, they weren’t making stuff up.

we’ll miss Howard’s bat. We’re already used to not having Utley’s

I hope I didn’t contribute to the rumor mill when I posted that I would be worried if Chase said nothing when he came back because I thought if the doctor told him to retire because his condition would never improve that he would just keep it quite from management as well as the phans. If Chase is telling the truth NOW, he needs to know that he’s a necessary piece to the 2012 WSC Puzzle. So of course we’ll all panic if he’s quite for no good reason!

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