By Mike Denardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After one final rehab start in Lehigh Valley Tuesday night,  Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is expected to be in the Phils lineup for the first time this season on Wednesday night.

After nearly a half-season of rehabbing his balky knees in Arizona and Clearwater, Utley says he’s ready to play.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, speaking on his radio show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, says he’s ready to pencil Utley’s name in, near the top of the lineup…

“His legs look strong, his upper body, his strength looks good. And he definitely looks like he’s ready to go.  I watched him take ground balls (Monday).  And like I said, getting him back is big for us in the clubhouse.  It’s big for us just to have him on our team.”

Manuel says last season Utley’s legs and hips didn’t seem to be as strong.  But he says right now, his second baseman’s core looks solid.


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