Chase Utley confirmed that he will not be ready for Opening Day, saying "obviously I will not be ready for opening day," but said that he ''absolutely'' expects to play this year.

There were some who were speculating that Utley could miss the entire season with knee pain, but is seems that he will be back at some point this season.

No timetable was given for his return but he did announce that no surgery was needed.   He will instead do a workout regimen to try and strengthen his knees.

Either way, one has to begin to worry if Utley can even be half the player he once was, hitting just .259 with 11 home runs last season.

"I'm disappointed, I'm upset and I'm not happy with the situation right now," Utley said.  However, some people are feeling all of those feelings about the thought of Utley's future.  Hos past looked to be a a Hall of Fame path, now his future is in doubt and the Hall of Fame seems like it has the same chance of happening as Utley playing in the month of April.

"I think once we get everything around my knees working correctly I don't know if it will be a problem," Utley explained about if his knee issues will be a chronic issue.  Keep in mind the pain he is feeling this spring in his left knee is different then the pain he felt last spring in his right knee.

"I'm 33 years old, I know a lot of people think that's old, but I feel like I have a lot of baseball left in me," Utley smiled.  His numbers last season suggest otherwise, but the Phillies might have been counting on that to be true with no real back-up plan in place.

Utley batting average and OPS have dropped the past four years in a row, and for a guy who was thought of to be one of the top five players in baseball just five years ago, it's easy to ask the question, if we will ever see the same Chase Utley again.

Sadly, it looks like the answer is no.

Sadly the 2012 Phillies, they might need him, cause without him, their run of five straight NL East crowns could come to an end.


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