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Phillies Statement on Chase Utley; Amaro Speaks

Here is a statement regarding Chase Utley’s knee from the Phillies:

“Chase has had mild patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in the past that have previously resolved quickly. His symptoms returned during his off-season workouts, and he developed some anterior knee pain consistent with his prior history. When he reported to spring training this year, his knee was treated as it had been in the past, however his symptoms continued. An MRI was obtained that demonstrated his prior tendinitis, chondromalacia, and bone inflammation. His chondromalacia symptoms persisted in spite of focused non-operative care, including a cortisone injection. A subsequent cartilage-specific MRI was obtained confirming the initial diagnosis. Continued non-operative treatment is being carried out and additional opinions will be obtained.”

More to come…

UPDATE, 9:55 am: Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro and Head Athletic Trainer Scott Sheridan spoke to the media in Clearwater today outside of Bright House Field and gave his take on the Chase Utley situation:

– Amaro the other options available:

“There’s a variety [of other options] them we’re still looking and researching exactly who it is we want to get opinions from. We’re just trying to find the best people to treat this.”

– Amaro on whether surgery is a possibility:

“We’re trying to do this non-operatively. That’s one of the reasons why we’d rather not go in there and operate…it may turn out that we have to do something as far as operation is concerned. The goal is to try and get him well without doing it.”

– Sheridan on timetable:

“All unknowns right now. First thing is, like Ruben said, you’ve got to exhaust the non-operative treatments, and if that doesn’t work, then you have to decide. A lot of that is really dependent on what you do once you’re in there.”

– Amaro on if he can play through it right now:

“Not right now, no. He doesn’t feel comfortable enough to be able to play, and if he would, you know with Chase, he would be playing. There’s just too much discomfort to be playing, and frankly, rest might be the best option here.”

– Amaro on a timetable:

“For us this is a long term thing. Frankly, I do not care if he’s making opening day, not making opening day. For us, this is long term. Long-term meaning through this year, through next year, through the following. This is something we want to make sure he’s 100 percent when he gets on the field so we don’t have any missteps.”

– Amaro on the possibility that Utley does not play this season:

“That is definitely not something we’re talking about.”

– Sheridan on people who have had surgery on Chondromalacia of the knee:

“There’s a lot of people, but you can’t judge what they’ve had and say well ‘it took him (whatever).'” We don’t know the history well enough to do that.”

– Sheridan on non-surgical methods and their effectiveness:

“I mean they be fairly effective…the problem is, nobody wants to take the time, sometimes. That’s the important thing, that we do it the right way.”

– Sheridan/Amaro on Utley taking BP and if that hurts him at all:

Sheridan: “He does what he’s comfortable doing, so if he’s able to hit, we want him to hit. If he’s able to throw, we just try to keep as much of those things going as we can.”

Amaro: “If it was bothering him, he wouldn’t do it.”

OPINION: While surgery is not on the table right now, it’s certainly not far off in the distance by what Ruben Amaro and Scott Sheridan have said. They’ll explore all other options, but what exactly are they? More rest seems to be a cure for many, however, it has not worked thus far.

Not to get people too far out on the ledge, but I would brace for surgery coming to the star second baseman. If he does not need it, then it’s a win at this time.

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