Chase Utley heading to Florida, on track for late May return

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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly has some exciting news for those anxiously awaiting the return of Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

According to Salisbury’s sources, Utley has been deemed “ready to intensify his workouts” and will head to the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida on Friday to begin playing in extended spring training games.

Once the Phillies have seen enough from Utley in the exhibition tilts, they will have him meet up with the organization’s Florida State League affiliate for true live action games. Then he’ll move on through the Phils’ minor league system before eventually meeting up with the big league club.

If all goes according to plan, Utley should be back in the majors by the end of this month.

The All-Star second baseman has been sidelined since spring training with patellar tendinitis.