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02/21/09 6:34 PM EST

Utley's second BP goes smoothly

Second baseman snuck in surprise cage workout Thursday

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Chase Utley said Thursday that he planned to start taking batting practice in the very near future.

The "very near future" sounded like a couple of days.

He meant later that day.

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Utley quietly took batting practice in the batting cages at Bright House Field on Thursday. He took another round of BP on Saturday.

"It went well," Utley said.

It is a small development in Utley's recovery from surgery on his right hip Nov. 24. But it seems to indicate that Utley, who estimated he took about 60 swings Saturday, continues to progress as he keeps his eye on being in the Phillies' lineup on Opening Day on April 5 against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

If Utley is not ready to go by the season opener, Philadelphia has options. Eric Bruntlett filled in for Jimmy Rollins last year when the shortstop spent time on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. Infielders Jason Donald, Marcus Giles and Miguel Cairo are also in camp and could make the team.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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