Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley speaks to reporters during a baseball availability at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, Fla., Sunday, March 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley speaks to reporters during a baseball availability at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, Fla., Sunday, March 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (AP Photo)

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, out all season with an injured left knee, will begin a rehabilitation assignment Monday at extended spring training in Clearwater, Fla.

The five-time All-Star gave no timetable Sunday for a possible return to the Philadelphia lineup.

Utley's career has been sidetracked the last 2½ seasons because of injuries to his hip and knees. He has been working on strengthening the area around his left knee to take away the pain he experienced during spring training.

Utley says he excited about progress he's made during the last few months and is ready to take the next step.

"Right now, I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "Still not perfect yet, but we're getting there and we're on the verge of getting a lot better."

 

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