David Murphy: Is Utley's Career In Jeopardy?

The headline reads like something juicier than it is. You might think that the Rangers outfielder is spouting off about Chase Utley. Or maybe you think that the Mets' second baseman or Miami Marlins' outfielder is spouting off because you can't keep David, Donnie, and Daniel straight. Alas, this is David Murphy, the columnist for Philly.com.

But Murphy is wondering if Chase Utley is going to ever be right again. The quote from the article that sums it up best:

"He's not that old," Manuel said.

That's the money quote. Because Utley isn't that old. It doesn't seem fair for a 33-year-old to fight degenerative, chronic knee problems, and Murphy recounts his accomplishments, noting that Utley once seemed to be on a certain Hall of Fame path.

It is worth noting that Utley admitted in February that he could not yet rule out surgery. The exact procedure that is on the table is, of course, a secret. But all the information you really need about that surgery - the expected length of recovery, the chances of success - can be inferred from the fact that he did not choose to have it this offseason.

The idea of a serious surgery is scary in terms of this season...

"If he doesn't play again that would be something horrible," said Jimmy Rollins, Utley's longtime doubleplay partner. "That would be horrible. But I don't see it that way. At least I hope that's not the case."

But if you read between the lines with this quote, you can tell that the headline isn't that inflammatory. It's an honest question. Because when you go up to a teammate and ask if Player X's career is in jeopardy, the usual response would be "Get the hell out of here. Of course it isn't. He'll be fine." Rollins probably knows something a little more than the rest of us, yet he's giving us "I hope" his career isn't over. Sheeeesh.

But as usual with Utley, we don't know anything. The exact doctor he's seeing, the true prognosis, a general timetable for his return ... nothing. The article mentions Carlos Beltran as a player who came back after serious knee surgery. That's good. Then the article mentions Grady Sizemore. That's frightening.

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