CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There was no batting practice or lawn-chair ground balls for second baseman Chase Utley Thursday at Bright House Field.
Instead, he visited a rehab specialist with team trainer Scott Sheridan in an effort to recover from the patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in his right knee.
"It's just to have him work on some different things and improve," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "It's just a matter of trying to get him better. We're trying to exhaust all the possibilities to do that. We've been researching different ways to try to handle it and help him improve and this was just one of the ways we felt that hopefully it will help him."
Amaro would not disclose the location of Utley's rehab visit, but said Utley has been making "minimal progress" in his bid to return. Utley, however, has not been able to run or field ground balls without the aid of a lawn chair.
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"We're doing everything we possibly can to have him not get into a surgery," Amaro said. "Until we stop seeing progress, then we'll continue to exhaust all those possibilities."
The effort by Utley and the Phillies to exhaust all options before surgery would lead one to believe that surgery would mean the second baseman would be shut down for a considerable amount of time.
"We don't know," Amaro said. "Again, the risk of having surgery kind of outweighs trying to exhaust all these other possibilities. I think that's what Chase prefers and I think that's what we prefer."
Amaro said he believes Utley has handled his injury well, but he knows his second baseman has an elevated frustration level.
"I'm sure he's frustrated," Amaro said. "He should be frustrated. We all would, but actually his demeanor is pretty good. I know he's disappointed he's not playing, but he understands it and he's being patient as he possibly can. He's not a real patient guy, but overall he's being pretty patient. He's not happy he's not playing, but he's not distraught. Typically, he's not happy about the things he wants to do the most."
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