"He's been progressing pretty well. We want to build on the progressions he's made," Amaro said. "I'm not sure quite how long he's going to be there. But he'll be there to do more intensive, one-on-one work with Brett Fischer and his group out there."
Utley hasn't done any baseball-related activity since early spring. He has been hampered by chondromalacia, a deterioration of the cartilage behind his left kneecap. He was in Arizona two weeks ago to see Fischer, who has worked with many other athletes, including former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Utley has said Fischer provided new stretching techniques, along with a new program of "manual therapy." Rookie Freddy Galvis will be the regular second baseman while Utley is out.
This is the second year in a row Utley will open the season on the disabled list. What is most worrisome is that last year's problem was chondromalacia in his right knee. Utley, 33, said his chronic knee problems are just something he will have to deal with. His contract is up after 2013.
"As you know, Chase doesn't like to be a distraction, and he thinks this is the best way to not be one," Amaro said. "But we're looking forward to getting him back when he's feeling better. He's progressing well and we just want to build on it."
Amaro said first baseman Ryan Howard continues his Achilles rehabilitation and will see orthopedic surgeon Mark Myerson on Tuesday.
"I don't have a time line on either Chase or Ryan," Amaro said. "I know they are both doing better. I know Ryan is doing a lot more things. I'm not sure when he's going to start hitting and that sort of thing."
After the Myerson visit, "we'll know more about [Howard's] availability to do more baseball stuff," Amaro continued. "He's been throwing. He's been doing a lot more strengthening stuff. The wound is starting to heal, which is great. As soon as that thing is healed up, we'll be able to kind of [be more aggressive] with some of the baseball activities."
Utility infielder Michael Martinez (right foot) and pitchers Justin De Fratus (right elbow) and Jose Contreras (right elbow) will join Utley and Howard on the DL to start the season.
Stutes' status unknown
Reliever Michael Stutes (right shoulder inflammation) also is a candidate to start the season on the DL. The Phillies have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to finalize their 25-man roster.
Contact Ed Barkowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.