Utley Working His Way Back

Phillies Notes

Bucks (Pa.) County Courier Times—August 2, 2010

By day, Chase Utley was taking his first swings in more than six weeks only a few hours after receiving medical clearance.

At long last, the Phillies' updated medical report offered a couple swigs of encouragement in a season where the ballclub has already seen 15 players serve 17 disabled list stints.

Utley, who is recovering from July 1 right thumb surgery, received great news after being re-examined in New York by Dr. Andrew Weiland at Hospital for Special Surgery. Because Utley's thumb is healing as expected, the five-time All-Star second baseman was told he can resume hitting activities and continue shooting to rejoin the Phillies around Sept. 1, which would be eight weeks since undergoing surgery.

Utley immediately headed straight from Manhattan to Citizens Bank Park and hit off a tee before the Phillies-Los Angeles Dodgers' game.

"It's very positive news from our perspective," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said of Utley, who tore ligaments in his thumb sliding into second base in a June 29 game at Cincinnati. "From this point forward, it's going to be a matter of how he feels and how he progresses.

"We were on the eight-week timetable to begin with and I don't think anything has changed from that perspective. If it progresses faster than that, great. If it progresses slower than that, great. The main thing is that Chase is healthy and ready to play at his full capacity when he comes back."

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