Utley Upbeat; No Timetable for Return
He took BP today, and said he felt great. No pain there. He took grounders for the first time. He said he felt some pain in his left knee, but he seemed pretty upbeat.
A few highlights from the interview:
A: Yeah, last two weeks or so I’ve been swinging the bat. No pain whatsoever, which in my opinion, is a positive sign.
A: Still getting used to it in the field. Overall, it’s much improved since the end of spring training.
A: I’ve done running. I’ve done a lot of things over the last three weeks to get me to this point. There’s still some things I need to do to get ready to play games. But I think we’re right on track.
Q: How much longer?
A: It’s hard to tell. So far, on a daily basis, I’ve been feeling good. I haven’t had to slow things down. Being here for a little longer (in Arizona) will benefit me. At some point I’ll meet with the team and continue to do more baseball stuff with the team. Then we’ll see what happens.
Q: Compare to how you felt last year at this point?
A: It’s hard to compare. I think my legs are actually stronger than they were last year. Last year, I went with the mindset of getting everything loose and not trying to make my legs tight. Right now, we’re trying to gain strength and continue to keep my legs loose.
Q: Your body language indicates you’re feeling pretty good?
A: I’m not happy that I’m not playing. I’m looking at it from a positive, like I always have. I’ve definitely gained strength over the past three weeks. I’m able to run. I’m able to take some ground balls like I did today. Fairly light but it’ll be a progression to make them tougher. Hitting wise, it was uncomfortable during spring training. Right now it’s not.
Q: You said in spring training you felt less pain this year than last year. Last year you came back around May 23. Could you back before June 1?
A: I’d like to be back right now. I have to listen to my body and right now it’s telling me to continue to move forward with the things I’m doing. I don’t want to put a certain date on it because I don’t want to force something that’s not ready to happen. When my knee is ready to go, I’ll be out there.
Q: Can you be productive once you’re back?
A: I think the whole thing is trying to get my legs stronger and if I continue to build on that I think I’ll be alright.
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 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
- April 29: Citizens Bank Park, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
- May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.