Utley to test knee by jogging soon

Injured Philadelphia Phillies star Chase Utley soon could take an important step toward his return.

The last thing the Phillies intend to do is rush second baseman Chase Utley back from his injured right knee. But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Utley is making progress and hopefully can begin jogging soon.

Amaro initially said that Utley possibly could start jogging “in the next couple of days.” But he amended those remarks later in the day, saying that Utley is not ready to proceed with such activity.

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.

Amaro said Utley is keeping himself "in great shape." However, the GM emphasized that there is no timetable for the second baseman’s return and that the Phillies do not want him to play until he is completely pain-free.

"I think we’re going to get him back. It’s just a matter of when," Amaro said. "We’re willing to be very patient with him. I want him for July-August-September, hopefully October.

"If we stay in this thing, hold our own offensively, it’s like making a trade, like getting a quality bat in the middle of the year. I don’t have a whole lot of flexibility to do much of anything else

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