Utley: 'I was pretty excited'

Chase Utley was 0 for 5 on the night be he said it felt good to be back. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Chase Utley went 0 for 5 in his first game back from right thumb surgery. Here is what he had to say to reporters after the Phillies' 9-3 victory over the Giants:

(Excited to be back?)
It felt good to be back out there. I was pretty excited. The main thing is we got the win today.

(How did you feel at the plate?)
I felt OK. I think there is a little room for improvement but I felt pretty good.

(Do you have any limitations? What about sliding headfirst?)
I'm going to try not to do that. But you never know.

(So no limitations?)
No limitations. None whatsoever.

(With you back, how good can this lineup be?)
I think we have a tough lineup, from top to bottom. Everyone can swing the bat. We're doing a good job of working the pitchers. We can score some runs.

(Was being cleared to hit a big step in getting back early?)
That was my goal a long time ago. I didn't tell you guys. Obviously, I needed to be cleared by Dr. Weiland and he cleared me. I went down to Florida, worked hard and tried to get some timing down.

(Did actually look at the schedule and say this is when you'd come back?)
I did some math in my head. I knew at six weeks there was a possibility for me to start hitting again. I figured four or five days after that I'd be ready.

(Did you have to do any lobbying?)
Maybe a little bit. Just a little bit. That's all.

(Is there a silver lining in guys going down and others stepping up?)
A lot of credit has to go to this team. We haven't given up all year. The amount of injuries we've had to our pitching staff, to our offense, it just shows we're not going to quit. Now we're getting guys back and hopefully we can finish strong.

(Do you have a knack for coming back quickly?)
Maybe the prognosis is too long. No, none whatsoever.

(A hyperbaric chamber?)
No. A little rest and a little hard work.

Continue Reading