Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will officially begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Single-A Clearwater, reports Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com. Utley hasn’t played in a game for the Phillies this season because of chronic knee soreness.
If Utley makes his minor league debut today, it will start his 20-day rehab clock. This means the latest Utley can return to the majors is July 2. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported last week that Utley and teammate Ryan Howard are each expected to max-out their time on rehab assignment or at least come close to doing so.
Utley missed significant time last season due to knee issues and only posted an OPS of .769 over his 398 at-bats. The 33-year-old owns a .882 career OPS and is a five-time All-Star.
In Utley’s absence, the Phillies turned to rookie Freddy Galvis to cover second for much of the season. Galvis recently hit the disabled list and has been diagnosed with a fractured back meaning he will be forced to miss an extended period of time as well. Philadelphia is now using Michael Martinez and Mike Fontenot at second.