(CLEARWATER, Fla.) — For the second straight season, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will miss the start of the season due to knee problems.
Utley missed 59 games last season due to chronic issues with his right knee, now this year he’s dealing with issues in his left knee. The 33-year-old Utley went through various rehab and stretching programs during the offseason in hopes of coming into spring training in better shape then he did last season.
The Phillies had planned on bringing along Utley slowly, but he didn’t appear in a single exhibtion game this spring because he didn’t feel ready to get on the field.
“It’s not bad enough to have microfracture surgery,” Utley told reporters. “It’s bad enough to end my career. It’s an issue that I’m going to have to deal with. There’s a lot of wear and tear in this game. I just have to get things around my knee to move better, to take a little pressure off my knees.”
Utley won the National League’s Silver Slugger Award for four straight years (2006-2009), but those same chronic knee issues have contributed to Utley’s decline in overall production over the past two seasons.
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