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Utley remains out with knee tendinitis

CLEARWATER — Phillies All-Star 2B Chase Utley has patella tendinitis in his right knee and missed his second straight game Sunday.

Utley had an MRI exam Saturday.

"It's been bothering him enough and bothering me enough, frankly, to go ahead and precautionary do that," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said of the exam. "Rather than really pushing him early, we're going to kind of take it easy on him so there are residual effects throughout the year."

Utley has been taking regular batting practice. His knee becomes painful in explosive baseball movements, such as running and fielding.

"It's a little tendinitis in the knee," Utley said. "I've had it in the past. It comes and goes. It's not going (away) as fast as I wish it would, but I think at this point it's better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather miss a few games here than in the season."

The Phillies do not have a definitive timetable for when they expect Utley to play in a spring training game.

Utley, who turned 32 in December, played in 115 games last season, his fewest since becoming an everyday player. Although he said the team "hasn't even explored" the option of surgery at this point, he is no stranger to going under the knife after three surgeries in the past four years.

Yanks: Nova perfect

CLEARWATER — Yankees RHP Ivan Nova struck out two over two perfect innings in a 7-3 win over the Phillies.

Nova is competing with Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Bartolo Colon for one of the final two rotations spots behind CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett.

"I'm just paying attention to what I'm doing," Nova said. "That's what I'm worrying about. I know there are good guys, veteran guys. I don't worry about it. I worry about myself."

Nova, considered one of the frontrunners, threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes. He struck out Ryan Howard on a curveball.

Jays: Drabek rests

LAKELAND — Blue Jays rookie RHP Kyle Drabek will skip his scheduled start today against the Phillies because of a stiff neck, MLB.com reported.

Drabek, 23, felt discomfort after waking up Thursday. He is expected to throw his regular bullpen session Wednesday and make his spring debut Saturday against the Tigers.

"It's starting to get a little bit better, but not to the point where we're going to think (today) is going to be that drastic of an improvement," Toronto manager John Farrell told MLB.com.

Drabek was set to face former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay today. Drabek was a key part of the package that Toronto acquired from Philadelphia in the December 2009 trade for Halladay.

.Fast facts

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Today: vs. Phillies, 1:05,

Dunedin

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Today: at Blue Jays, 1:05

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Today: at Tigers, 1:05,

Lakeland

Utley remains out with knee tendinitis 02/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 27, 2011 9:37pm]

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