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MAJOR LEAGUE REPORT

Chase Utley doesn't know when he will return

Phillies' second baseman doesn't think he will need surgery on his knee.

March 28, 2011|Wire reports
  • Phillies second baseman Chase Utley takes part in spring drills last month.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley takes part in spring drills last month. (Eric Gay / Associated Press )

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley said Monday he was confident he won't need surgery on an injured knee that has kept him off the field all of spring training, but he wouldn't speculate on when he could return.

"Right now there is no timetable," Utley said. "I think we've been pretty patient with it, and I think we're going to continue to. I think that's the smart thing to do and we're going to stay on that track."

Utley, who had remained quiet about his status since early March, said he has not returned to running but has been taking ground balls for several days.

Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed last week Utley was likely to start the season on the disabled list. But the Phillies have been reluctant to give daily updates on the health of Utley's right knee.

Asked if he felt he could return to the field this season, Utley said that was his goal.

"I think so. As long as we continue to take steps forward and not backward that's definitely a possibility," Utley said.

Utley said surgery was an option but that, as Amaro has mentioned, there was a risk it would make his knee worse.

"Hey, listen, if surgery was the answer and I could be back on the field in six weeks guaranteed it would be a no-brainer," Utley said. "But I don't think that's the case. I think it's a little unpredictable at this point. I want to take as many steps as I can to avoid that surgery and see what happens."

Etc.

Even though he had an abbreviated spring training while working his way back from a concussion, Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau thinks he will be ready to go on opening day in Toronto. … The Twins traded right-handed pitching prospect Billy Bullock to the Atlanta Braves, which allows them to retain Rule 5 draft choice Scott Diamond. … The Kansas City Royals acquired catcher Matt Treanor from the Texas Rangers for an undisclosed amount of cash. …The San Diego Padres have acquired infielder Alberto Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals for right-hander Erik Davis and cash. ... New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran is scheduled to play Tuesday in his first major league spring training game since March 6, which eliminates the possibility of the club backdating time on the disabled list. … New York Yankees left-hander Pedro Feliciano expects to miss two weeks because of upper arm-shoulder soreness. …Veteran pitchers Mark Hendrickson, David Riske and Rick VandenHurk were designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles.

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