By Evans Clinchy
February 24, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has battled knee injuries for the last 12 months, but he said today at Phils spring training that he's feeling better and looking forward to a healthy 2012 season.

“It feels significantly better,” Utley told the AP. “Last year it was very uncomfortable, especially the first week. Right now, I think I’m in a good place. The goal for me is to kind of stay in the same place and improve in small increments and not try to irritate it to the point where I’d have to slow down.

Utley was diagnosed last February with patellar tendinitis, bone inflammation and chondromalacia (pain due to irritation under the kneecap). He played through the pain and saw action in 103 games last year, but it was one of the least productive seasons of his career. Utley batted just .259 with 11 home runs.

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