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Utley’s Knee Pain Leads Phillies to Seek Additional Opinions

Chase Utley’s injured knee failed to respond to a cortisone shot, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to seek additional opinions on treatment for the All-Star second baseman.

Utley, who hasn’t played during spring training, has a history of mild patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in his knee that returned during offseason workouts, the Phillies’ team physician, Michael Ciccotti, said today in an e-mailed statement.

“When he reported to spring training this year, his knee was treated as it had been in the past, however his symptoms continued,” Ciccotti said. “His chondromalacia symptoms persisted in spite of focused non-operative care, including a cortisone injection.”

An MRI of the cartilage confirmed the initial diagnosis,” the doctor added. He said Utley will continue to receive non-operative treatment while additional opinions are sought.

Chondromalacia, commonly known as “runner’s knee,” is a general term indicating damage to the cartilage under the kneecap, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Utley, 32, has been an All-Star each of the last five seasons. He’s a career .293 hitter with 177 home runs and 650 runs batted in during his eight-year Major League Baseball career, all with the Phillies.

Utley played in 115 games last season, missing 43 straight contests after injuring his thumb. He also played through hip pain during the 2008 season as the Phillies won the World Series, and had surgery during the offseason.

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