By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After an impressive performance in an extended Spring Training game on Wednesday, there was speculation that Chase Utley could return to the Phillies lineup by early July. Peter Gammons thinks it could be even sooner than that.

“I think Utley’s pretty close at this point, at least that’s what I was told yesterday,” Gammons told the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday. “I’m guessing, a week to ten days, I would think.” Comcast Sportsnet’s Jim Salisbury said yesterday he thought that Utley would use as much of his 20 day rehab assignment as possible once it begins.

There hasn’t been much information about Utley’s health so far this season. “Well, you know, he’s so private. It’s not only his privacy, he doesn’t like to build up expectations,” Gammons said. “I’m told he’s in great spirits, and that must mean he thinks he’s pretty close.”

Gammons said you can never be too sure about Utley though, “just because he doesn’t put any parameters on anything,” he said.

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