May 10, 2011, 1:27 PM EDT
Don’t look now, but the Phils’ second baseman may be inching closer to his big league return. The Daily News’ Paul Hagen reports that Utley will make his first rehab start in Clearwater tonight, and as Hagen’s colleague David Murphy points out, it’s the All Star’s first action on back-to-back days.
The news is good, but I just hope neither the Phillies or Utley are rushing his return. They could use a little more production in the lineup, yet they are winning ballgames without him. It won’t do the club a lot of good if Utley helps them to a handful of extra wins over the summer, but isn’t a factor once the post-season rolls around.
Of course, no word so far on when he might be available for Charlie Manuel’s lineup card, but it should be no later than May 30. The Inquirer’s Matt Gelb reminds us official rehab assignments are limited to 20 days.
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