Phillies 2B Chase Utley thinks he will be ready for Opening Day following off-season hip surgery. Utley underwent the surgery on November 24th and was initially thought to be out 2-3 months of the season.
“In two to three weeks”"that would be nice” Utley said. “If everything goes as planned, that’s what we want to do. And right now, we’re on schedule.”
Utley, who hit .292 with a career-high 33 bombs in 2008, first started feeling pain in his hip in May or June. He played through the injury to help lead the Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980.
“It’s about listening to my body. Right now, we are listening and it’s responding well” Utley said. “If that continues to happen, then I don’t see why I won’t be ready for opening day.”
As of now, he thinks he can start swinging a bat in a few weeks, provided there are no hiccups.
“If there are some setbacks”"which are a possibility”"I’m not going to be dumb about it and move through it” Utley added. “I’ll listen to my body and when it’s ready, it’s ready. Hopefully that will be Opening Day.”
General Manager Reuben Amaro, Jr. is “cautiously optimistic” about his early return.
“Everything that we’ve done so far, there have been no problems” Utley said.
His skipper thinks if anyone can do it, it’s Utley.
“I know how (Utley) works out” added manager Charlie Manuel. “He’s more determined than anyone in the world, really.”
A California native, Utley has spent a ton of time in Philly this off-season rehabbing and thinks he can be ready for the Braves on April 5th.