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Chase Utley Taking Grounders, Throwing

Good news from Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times today. He noticed that Chase Utley was at the ball park today playing catch and taking ground balls for the first time since his his surgery.

Utley had the splint removed from his right thumb last week and told the Daily News over the weekend that he’s used his time on the DL to build his overall strength.

“I’ve been able to lift a lot more, both legs and upper body,” said Utley, who is still holding out hope that he can return before the 8-week prognosis the Phillies gave after his July 1 surgery to repair a torn ligament. “So I guess there’s a positive in all this, maybe.”

Utley says he’s still aiming for a late August return. The biggest hurdle is for him to be cleared to hit. When that happens, he could be back in the lineup quickly.