Utley Improving, May Begin Jogging

Some very encouraging news from the Phillies today, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Utley may be jogging in a matter of days, a very encouraging vote of confidence for the state of his right knee, which has kept him out of action since spring training.

Rosenthal with more:

“If he starts running, that’s a big step," Amaro said. "He hasn’t even jogged. He’s done some underwater stuff. But we haven’t gotten him to run normal resistance. Once he does that, it (his return) could happen fast. But it might take a while for him to get there."

Once Utley can run at full speed without pain, he could progress quickly to a rehabilitation assignment, Amaro said. He is taking ground balls in addition to batting practice, and the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he showed his most movement yet on Sunday, going to his right on flips to second base and going down on one knee.

Obviously, if Utley is at the point where he can go down on one knee and move laterally in the field, it’s a great sign for the second baseman. And if he can start jogging without experiencing any setbacks, it’s really going to be a boon for the immediate future of the team, who is currently replacing Chase with a not-so-terrifying three-headed monster of Wilson Valdez, Michael Martinez and Pete Orr.

Rosenthal goes on to state that the Phillies do not have a timetable for Utley’s return, and that he won’t see game action until he is completely pain free, which is no small task considering Utley’s threshold for dealing with discomfort.

But I dig the kid-gloves approach they are taking with Utley. After seeing less-than-promising results from Rollins when he was rushed back from injury last season and Brett Myers the season before, it’s very comforting to know they are keeping Utley on a tight leash as far as his recovery goes. And why wouldn't they? After all, Utley at 100 percent in July is far, far more important than Utley at 85 percent in May.

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