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Utley Eyeing Early Return

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Chase Utley said he’s “optimistic” about making an early return after undergoing surgery on his injured thumb that was supposed to keep him out for eight weeks.

“Yeah, I might be back before eight weeks,” he said. “Obviously, knowing that I’ve come back from an injury before and I’ve been successful, yeah, that’s good to know. I’m going to do everything that I’m allowed to do, up until the point that I play, in being ready. Once this [cast] comes off, I’ll be able to take ground balls. Obviously, keep this [hand] out of the way. The only thing I won’t be able to do is throw or hit. I’m going to try to stay in shape as best I can.”

The Phils could certainly use the help… they’ve lost 5 of 7 games since losing Utley.