PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ryan Howard will be heading to Clearwater on Sunday and Chase Utley could join him within a week as the two injured Philadelphia Phillies stars inch closer toward joining the team for the first time this season.
Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, hasn't hit in two months since having a procedure to remove an infection near his surgically repaired left Achilles' tendon. He's been limited to just fielding grounders.
Utley, the five-time All-Star second baseman, has been working out with a specialist in Arizona to strengthen his chronically bad knees. Utley is expected to join the Phillies on the road this week before heading to Clearwater, the Phillies' Class A affiliate.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said there's no timetable on when either player would be ready to play.