NEW YORK -- So much for that eight-week timetable.
Chase Utley will begin his official rehab assignment Saturday night with single-A Clearwater. He will play five innings. That means it's entirely possible Utley could rejoin the Phillies this week.
When Utley had surgery on his right thumb July 1, doctors estimated at least an eight-week recovery period. That would have put him on target for a return sometime around Sept. 1. As Utley has progressed the last few weeks, the Phillies stuck to that timetable.
Obviously, the second baseman has accelerated his recovery of late. Last Wednesday, he was given clearance to swing a bat. Three days later, he's already in a rehab game.