LAKELAND, Fla. — Chase Utley has patellar tendinitis. Brandon Inge had patellar tendinitis.

While that doesn’t mean that what happened to Brandon Inge will happen to Chase Utley, the conditions are similar enough that the Phillies have asked the Tigers third baseman to talk to their injured second baseman.

Inge said Wednesday that he’ll call Utley. He also said that he can’t offer much encouragement.

“I wish I had better news,” said Inge, who said that his knees are finally feeling good again, nearly a year and a half after surgery.

The Phillies said Wednesday morning that they’ll seek additional opinions on Utley, who has seen the pain in his right knee persist despite a cortisone shot last Friday. The team said that surgery is still a last resort.

Inge said he played through the pain for the entire 2009 season, before having surgery that fall. He said cortisone shots didn’t help him, either, and that other treatments provided only temporary relief, at best.

“I know one thing,” Inge said. “The pain associated with it is not fun. If it’s the same thing I had, he has two options: get it taken care of and miss the season, or really, really suck it up.”

Inge had surgery in early November 2009, and was back on the field early in spring training 2010, a little more than three months later. But he said that he felt he came back earlier than he should have, and that his knee really wasn’t at full strength at any point during the 2010 season.

Utley has been able to take batting practice this spring, but he hasn’t been able to run or play defense. Inge said that sounds familiar, but he also said that the injury affected him at the plate.

“It was really hard to stay through the low and away pitch,” Inge said. “But defense is the worst. Backhands are really tough.”


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