Utley, Ruiz progressing; eye return next week

Utley, Ruiz progressing; eye return next week
June 12, 2013, 7:00 pm
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MINNEAPOLIS – Though there is no official timetable for their return from the disabled list, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz continue to make progress recovering from injuries.

Team officials hope that both will be ready to play in minor-league games by the time the current big-league trip ends on Sunday or shortly thereafter.

Utley suffered a right oblique strain on May 21. Tuesday is the one-month mark of his suffering the injury. Initial estimates had him out two to four weeks. If all continues to go well, he could be back sometime next week.

“I’m actually feeling a lot better,” Utley said on Wednesday. “The last week has been very positive. I took some light swings on Sunday and every day I’ve done a little more, added a little more intensity into it. So far, so good.

“I think there’s still some room for improvement. Tomorrow I will hit in the cage a little bit, add some intensity and see how it goes.”

Utley will need to take live batting practice before he an go play in some minor-league games.

“I’d like to do that as soon as possible, but I want to be smart about it. It’s a day-to-day process. But so far I haven’t had to shut down.”

Oblique injuries can be tough on a hitter and linger if not treated thoroughly. That’s the way the Phillies and Utley are being cautious.

Ruiz is recovering from a right hamstring strain. He has been doing more and more baseball activities each day and hopes to return sometime next week.

Also on the injury front, catcher Erik Kratz had surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee on Wednesday morning. He will be out six to eight weeks, according to team officials.

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