CLEARWATER, Fla. In the strongest sign yet that Chase Utley could open a second straight season on the disabled list, the Phillies announced Monday morning that the 33-year-old second baseman has left camp to see a specialist about his tendinitis-stricken right knee.
Chase's rehab process has come to a bit of a plateau, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. He has made some strides but not enough to take the field. He is headed out of town for a few days to be evaluated by a specialist that has helped athletes overcome his issue. We anticipate that this trip will allow him to build on what he has already done with athletic trainer Scott Sheridan in order to get over the hump. He wants more than anything to be on the field with his teammates and we believe that this is a step in that direction.
Utley, who has chronic knee tendinitis, missed the first 46 games of last season. The Phillies had hoped to ease him into action this spring by playing him in the final 10 to 12 spring-training games. Utley had hoped to be on the field taking ground balls this week, but that now seems unlikely and its more likely that he would begin the season on the disabled list. With Utley out, the Phillies have been using rookie Freddy Galvis at second base. The team could also look to shore up the infield with a trade.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org