Signs point to Monday return for Chase Utley

Signs point to Monday return for Chase Utley
May 21, 2011, 11:00 pm
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Saturday, May 21, 2011
Posted: 6:59 p.m. Updated: 9:04 p.m.

By Jim Salisbury

Signs continue to point toward Chase Utley making his big-league season debut Monday night against Cincinnati.

Hes getting close, manager Charlie Manuel said Saturday.

Utley was in the lineup for a fourth straight game at Single-A Clearwater on Saturday. Playing four days in a row was said to be his final minor-league test. Indications were he would rest Sunday and be evaluated. If he checks out, he would likely be in the Phillies lineup Monday night against Reds righthander Bronson Arroyo. Utley is 4 for 9 with a homer in his career against Arroyo.

Utley has been plagued by right knee tendinitis since spring training. He has not played in the majors since October. His playing time will be closely monitored when he returns to prevent flare-ups.

We might do one on, one off for a while, or two on, one off, Manuel said. Well communicate. I think I can be smart enough when to rest him. Im pleased with what Ive been hearing about how hes been playing.

Utley beat out an infield hit Friday night. He has nine hits in 32 at-bats with Clearwater and went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI on Saturday night.

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