Chase Utley's return to baseball may be coming soon.
After participating in two simulated games in the past three days, the Phillies are looking at sending Utley to extended spring training or a minor-league rehab assignment.
"It might be time to let him go somewhere, like Clearwater or something, and start getting into a broader, bigger routine," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters, including the New Journal's David Hale. "I think he's doing much better. he's getting there in how he responds after he does that kind of workout like he did the last couple of days. That's what counts. I definitely think he's closer than what he was a week or two weeks ago."
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said if Utley feels good on Wednesday following Tuesday's workout -- which included base running, batting practice, field work and down time in the dugout -- he may send Utley to Florida.
"He seemed to do OK again today, and if he's feeling well tomorrow, we'll try to take the next step," Amaro said.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.