"It's not good news or bad news," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "It's same news. I wish he was out here playing, of course."
An MRI on Saturday revealed patellar tendinitis, and the Phillies have told Utley to rest and employ a take-it-slow approach. A cortisone shot or surgery aren't looming, Amaro said. Utley can't run or go through fielding drills, but he has been able to take batting practice.
"He's getting better, it's just a matter of time untill we'll be able to turn him loose more and basically get him into a game," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's taking some time."
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But there's only a finite amount of time, of course, before the start of the regular season. Amaro would like Utley to play in 10 Grapefruit League games to feel comfortable having him in the Opening Day lineup. Under that timeframe, that would give Utley more than two weeks to be able to return to game action.
In the case that Utley isn't available, Amaro isn't planning to reshuffle his roster at this point.
"I'm not going to be doing anything else because of this," Amaro said. "I mean, we'll watch some of the other guys play, but we expect [Utley] to be our second baseman."
Delwyn Young, 28, has played 70 games at second base in the Majors since 2007, but he isn't being looked at as a possible replacement.
"I don't think that he would be an everyday second baseman, at least from what we've seen so far," Amaro said. "But we don't think that we're going to need one. I mean, can he be out there? Yeah ... [but] he wouldn't be considered a plus defender."