Phillies GM suspects Chase Utley’s knee issues may linger

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Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday that Chase Utley’s patellar tendinitis could remain with him for the remainder of his MLB career:

“I don’t know if it’s behind him,” the GM said. “Is he going to be a 30-homer, 110-RBI guy and hit .300? I don’t know that. I hope he is. That will help us. Whatever we get out of Chase is going to help. I know he’ll strive to get to the point where he can maximize his numbers and production.”

Utley missed the first 40 or so games of the 2011 season due to the knee issues and batted just .259 with a .769 OPS when he did finally return. The five-time All-Star showed up in the postseason, going 7-for-16 in the Phillies’ NLDS loss to the Cardinals, but it’s safe to wonder — at the age of 32 — whether his best years are already behind him. A nine-year veteran, he is owed $15 million in 2012 and another $15 million in 2013.