Utley progresses, but no rehab stint yet

Utley progresses, but no rehab stint yet

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Phillies badly need Chase Utley's bat in the lineup.

The second baseman is getting closer to a return from the 15-day disabled list, but he said Wednesday at Target Field that no rehab assignment has been scheduled. But Utley has been swinging the bat this week, and he said it has gone well.

"So far, so good," he said.

Utley has been on the DL since May 21 because of a strained right oblique. He said he could be back by the middle of the month. Of course, the middle of the month officially is this weekend, so maybe a return early next week is feasible.

"I think it's still realistic," he said. "Everything has gone well so far. Tomorrow I'm going to probably do the same, maybe pick up the intensity a little bit and go from there. But I don't have an actual date [in mind to return]. … The guys who I've talked to, who have had this in the past, they said once you start swinging, a few said it was sore and they had to back off for a few days. So far I haven't had to do that."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.