Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/26/12

He has almost been an out of sight and out of mind figure through the first three months of the 2012 season.

But as Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley sat in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, preparing to head to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to clear the final step in his road back from chondromalacia, he sounded like a player who is tired of watching people beat up on him and his faltering teammates.

"I know there are some people who have given up on me," Utley said. "There are some people who have given up on this team. I'll be the first one to tell you that I definitely have not given up on myself and our guys have not given up on this year. We have strong-willed guys on this team. We've lost some games lately. The majority of games we've lost, we've had a legitimate opportunity to win. All it takes is one good bounce our way and things can change."

Utley will play on Tuesday night for the IronPigs at Allentown. If all goes well, signs point to him being activated either Wednesday or Thursday.

"It's a possibility," Utley said when the subject of a Wednesday return was mentioned.

When asked about his condition, Utley would not say that his knees -- which have been impacted by a chronic condition each of the last two seasons -- that he was "pain free."

"I would say that I'm in a much better place than I was a month ago, and I'm encouraged by that," Utley said. "I wouldn't be out there if I felt uncomfortable."

Utley hit only .156 in nine games in his minor league assignment for Class A Clearwater. But the Phillies' management doesn't seem to worry about the lack of production from its second baseman.

"From what I saw of the DVDs of him hitting in Clearwater, he looks about the same to me," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He hit a home run the other night. I noticed the other night, it wasn't because he hit a home run, but he had a real good swing on the ball. He had a real good base."

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rich Hill blames himself after losing no-hit bid on walk-off

Mitchell Trubisky getting first-team reps, will get time with starters Sunday

Protest movement a polarizing problem for NFL

The crazy AL wild-card race is a beautiful mess

Klay Thompson not worried about money breaking up Warriors

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vikings troll Aaron Rodgers with tweet to ex-girlfriend Olivia Munn

Report: Young Bulls players 'can’t stand' Dwyane Wade

MLB contenders in the best shape for a World Series run

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

The 20 biggest storylines heading into the 2017 NFL season

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Phillies News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker