Phillies' Utley cleared to start hitting

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - August 11, 2010

Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock says the news is encouraging, but the team is sticking to its original timetable for Utley's return. When the five-time All-Star had surgery on July 1, he was expected to miss at least eight weeks.

Proefrock says Utley will start a rehab assignment when he's ready.

Utley tore a ligament in his thumb sliding into second base in a game at Cincinnati on June 28. He's batting .277 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.

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