Injury Updates on Ryan Howard, Chase Utley

Two Phillies stars are getting close.

We’ll start with Chase Utley, who is slated to return to Philadelphia within the next week, according to Ruben Amaro Jr. As you know, Utley has been rehabbing his knees out in Arizona, and even met up with the team during the Phoenix leg of their 10-game road trip. He’ll join the team for a few days, then head to Clearwater to get some game-action under his belt.

This is obviously huge news as Utley appears to be getting closer to rejoining the Phillies for good. Amaro and Utley have stated recently that he is feeling even better than he had last year before returning. So expect to come back at whatever full strength is for him.

Amaro on Utley: “He’s going to join us at some point in the next week or so, and if he continues to go well, which so far he’s done pretty darn well, at some point he’ll be headed to Clearwater, too. I don’t know the exact timetable on him, but we’ll find out more once Chase rejoins us.” (h/t David Hale).

Ryan Howard got good news from the wound specialist last night and now he’ll be heading to Clearwater to ramp up his rehabilitation. Howard is slated to head to Florida tomorrow to take part in baseball activities. He hopes to start hitting some point in the next few days.

Two pieces of good news in one day? It can’t be.And that’s in addition to the news yesterday that Cliff Lee would likely only miss the minimum amount of games as he waits to return from a Grade 1 oblique strain.

For those wondering what the Phillies can do to bolster the offense, the answer is not much. All they can do is wait for both men to be completely healthy and hope they can spark this team upon their return. Regardless of what you think of Howard or Utley and their respective injuries, an offense with them is likely better than an offense without him.

I know I can’t see into his knee, but looking at the exterior of Utley, he looks stout and strong. I’ve seen his BP sessions and he looks healthy. Let’s hope the knee can keep up.

As for Howard, he’s going to need more time to get himself into baseball shape. Obviously, the achillies injury kept him from conditioning in the offseason, so Howard looks to be a little loose in the cage.

Regardless, it’s pretty good news on this Saturday.

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