Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Injured Phillies nearing return to field

Utley not ready, but Feliz, Lidge, Durbin, Coste may play Wed.
By Todd Zolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies continue to believe Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz could be in their Opening Day lineup.

But first things first: they have to play in a Spring Training game.

Feliz, who had surgery on his lower back Nov. 20, could play in a scrimmage Wednesday at the Carpenter Complex. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said if Feliz feels OK after participating in a sliding drill, he could play. Manager Charlie Manuel said Feliz may play in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game.

Brad Lidge, Chad Durbin and Chris Coste also could see action.

Lidge hasn't appeared in a Grapefruit League game because he has been bothered with tightness in his right forearm. Durbin also hasn't appeared in a Grapefruit League game because of a strained right hamstring.

Coste, who entering Monday had just one at-bat this spring because of tightness in his right hamstring, said he feels 100 percent healthy and is eager to get going. He entered Monday's game in the top of the seventh, replacing Lou Marson behind the plate, and went 0-for-1.

"I'm not sure if my bat is 100 percent, but we'll find out," Coste said.

Utley, who had surgery on his right hip Nov. 24, continues to progress, but Amaro said he isn't scheduled to play Wednesday.

"Over the next few days, if things go well, hopefully we'll get him into some games," Amaro said of Utley.

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