Phillies fans received some good news on Sunday as All-Star second baseman Chase Utley finally made his way to Florida for extended spring training. It is a sign of progress in his recovery from chronic knee issues.
Utley heads to Clearwater to continue his road back after taking live batting practice and fielding ground balls recently. He is expected to train by hitting first and then move on to fielding, this according to NBCSports.com.
Utley has yet to play this season after missing 59 games in 2011 because of the injury. He missed 47 games in 2010 and hasnt been full strength since that season.
Philadelphia is watching Utleys recovery closely as they remain without Ryan Howard due to a torn Achilles injury and ace Roy Halladay has recently gone on the disabled list with a lat strain. The Phillies are last in the NL East currently with a 28-27 record, 3.5 games behind the Nationals.
There is no timetable for Utleys return so the Phillies wont be getting any help too soon. But having their five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger second baseman when he does come back will certainly help.