This can’t be seen as good news for Philadelphia Phillies fans: second baseman Chase Utley has left camp early to see a specialist for the ongoing problems he has had in his knees.
Last year, Utley missed all of spring training and the first six weeks of the season after it was discovered he had patellar tendinitis in his right knee. This year, word has it that Utley is experiencing pain and discomfort in both knees, and the left one is worse than his right.
GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. has said Freddy Galvis will play second base until Utley returns; Galvis was seen by many as the possible heir apparent to Jimmy Rollins at shortstop before the team re-signed Rollins to a three-year deal.
Yesterday Utley has said he hopes to be playing by next week. Now Amaro said it is doubtful Utley will be ready by Opening Day, which will be a major blow to a Phillies team already without Ryan Howard for the beginning of the season.
A five-time All-Star, Utley is already 33 and has just two years remaining on the seven-year deal he signed prior to the ’07 season.