Utley progressing, no return date set

Utley progressing, no return date set

ATLANTA -- Chase Utley is getting closer to rejoining the Phillies' lineup, but the club is making no predictions on when that will be.

Utley played Sunday with Class A Clearwater in Bradenton, Fla., and went 0-4 with two strikeouts.

Utley has been on the disabled list since the season started because of patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

"Right now, two things need to happen," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He needs to get timing, get at-bats and get a good feel from seeing live pitching. At the same time, he needs to be honest with us and let us know that he's progressing. As long as he's progressing that's good stuff. We do not want to bring him to the big leagues if he doesn't feel comfortable, physically, coming to the big leagues. We don't want to bring him to the big leagues until he's got enough at-bats to be prepared to play."

Amaro would not say if Utley could rejoin the Phillies before the end of the week, but if he is healthy he is expected to be activated before May 30.

Amaro said when Utley returns his knee will have to be managed properly. That might mean not playing every day.

"Shoot, I'd like to have Chase playing every minute of every game, too," Amaro said. "But at the same time, I'd rather have Chase at 100 percent for 80 percent of the games than 60 percent for 100 percent of the games."