Amaro thinking Chase Utley might be ready by end of May

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The Phillies still aren’t putting an official timetable on Chase Utley’s rehabilitation from patellar tendinitis, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did offer some optimism on Saturday evening.

According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Amaro told reporters on Saturday afternoon that he’s hopeful Utley will be ready to return to the Phillies’ starting lineup before the end of May.

Utley was cleared to begin a running program only nine days ago and has already progressed to straight-line sprints. He has also been participating in light fielding drills and has avoided setbacks to this point.

The Phillies have been using Wilson Valdez primarily at second base since the regular season began. He got off to a hot start but has just one hit in his last 16 at-bats and is down to a .264/.316/.321 batting line.