Chase Utley nearing rehab assignment

Rich Schultz

The Phillies second baseman could begin his rehab assignment as early as tomorrow, and return to the team over the weekend.

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley took live batting practice with the team on Friday and Saturday, and could start his minor-league rehab assignment as early as Tuesday, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting.

Friday marked the first time Utley had taken batting practice since injuring his oblique swinging the bat on May 21 in Miami. Utley would have likely hit before Sunday's game as well, but the tarp was on the field prior to the Phillies game against the Colorado Rockies, so neither team took batting practice.

More Phillies News: The Good Phight

Utley had hoped to return to the team in mid-June, but may not return to the team until this weekend, when Philadelphia hosts the New York Mets.

The second baseman had swung the bat well before heading to the DL, hitting .272/.339/.475 in 177 plate appearances. Utley, a free agent after this season, will likely be the source of trade rumors this summer if he makes a healthy return.

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