Chase Utley is slowing recovering from his broken right hand. He visited with doctors yesterday to remove the stitches left over from the operation that inserted a stabilizing pin into his hand. Chase has not been cleared to grip a bat or perform hand exercises, however he will continue to field ground balls and participate in other range-of-motion exercises. Utley will see Dr. Randall Culp again on Aug. 20 and if the doc lets him pick up a bat, he could return to the team within a week. This puts his earliest possible return at August 27, just in time for a four game series against the Mets in Philly.
But even if Chase is ready August 27, will he be the same Chase Utley that went on the DL on July 27? We all know Chase gives 100% in everything he does, but what if physically his hand is only at 80 or 90%? There is a good chance at least for the first few weeks he is back that his offensive numbers will be lower, he might even be less inclined to lay out for a screaming grounder in the hole. How Chase recovers from this injury will be an interesting clue into his status as a superstar. He signed an $85 million contract in the off-season but an injury could mean the Phillies have a different player on their hands. Good thing for Phillies and their fans that Chase Utley rarely disappoints.