Philadelphia Update: Utley “no timetable” to return
March 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Though stating that he feels the need for surgery on his balky right knee is unnecessary, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley said that there is no timetable on his return to the playing field (ESPN News Link).
As we stated last week, the Phillies line-up is surprisingly mediocre without Utley in the middle. First baseman Ryan Howard becomes the team’s only proven power threat, though even his numbers have been fading for the better part of the last three seasons.
With the team already relying on the aging Luis Castillo and utility infielder Wilson Valdez to be serviceable in Utley’s absence, any extended lay-off for the perennial All-Star Utley will put more strain on the Phillies surrounding pieces. At this point in time, it is safe to say Utley will be out for at least April, since he hasn’t appeared in one Spring Training game and will need time to get into playing shape before rejoining the team.
However, if it turns out that Utley will require surgery on his knee, his entire 2011 campaign may be lost. And, if that’s the case, then the National League East just became that much more wide open.