Phillies could get Utley and Howard back in June

PHILADELPHIA -- Officially, the Phillies say there's still no timetable on Ryan Howard and Chase Utley returning to the lineup.

But there's a growing feeling that the two key Phillies could join the team sometime in June, with Howard's return expected to be sooner and also considered more certain.

Howard has just started taking live batting practice at the Phillies' spring training complex in Florida, but has yet to play in any games. Utley remains with the major-league team and continues to take batting practice, but only began taking ground balls on the field this week.

The concern on Utley is how his knees respond to an increased workload. After two days of taking ground balls, he had less activity Friday.

While Utley's return remains somewhat questionable, there's a chance that the Phillies could have both their stars for the second half of the season. There's also some chance that the Phillies could re-sign Roy Oswalt, although they might have to trade Joe Blanton to do it.

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