After giving his knees a break in the first half of May, Chase Utley has been taking regular infield work ever since May 16, when the Phillies played the first of two games at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
But he will travel with the Phillies from St. Louis to New York tonight. He won't be spending Memorial Day taking his rehab to Clearwater, to begin playing in games.
So what is his status? Here is what Utley had to say Sunday morning at Busch Stadium:
Q: How has the pain threshold been as you've progressed in taking regular ground ball work?
Utley: Every day it seems like it's getting a little bit better. The last couple of days I've pushed it and increased the intensity a little bit and they have responded well, so that's a good sign in my eyes.
Q: You have increased the intensity of ground balls?
Utley: Yeah, moving a little bit quicker, a little bit harder and a little bit more.
Q: Have you been running regularly?
Utley: As far as running around, shagging balls in the outfield, kind of using that time for agility.
Q: So there's a purpose to the outfield stuff?
Utley: Without a doubt.
Q: Is there a number of ground balls in mind before ready to go on rehab?
Utley: I think it's just more of a feel. Right now, I'm taking anywhere from 20 to 40 groundballs. The last few days have picked up that intensity as far as range and how hard I'm going after the ball. There's a little bit more of a process and I've worked a little harder. It's encouraging that the following day I feel the same as I did the day before.
Q: Any idea next step, to Clearwater?
Utley: No. But I'm encouraged by the way it has gone the past week or so.
Q: You have been shagging in left field, and said you've done so with a purpose. Chance you'd play out there?
Utley: I haven't thought about it too much.