Utley scheduled to see specialist Friday for broken right hand

Updated: July 26, 2007, 10:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chase Utley

Utley

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies All-Star second baseman Chase Utley broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch during Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Utley was hit in the fifth inning by Washington's John Lannan, who was making his major league debut. Utley finished the game, going 2-for-4, but X-rays after the game showed he broke a bone in the hand.

Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark on Thursday that, as broken bones in the hand go, this is "the best-case scenario."

Utley is expected to undergo a surgical procedure Friday that is designed to line up the bones and facilitate the healing process. And if all goes well, Amaro said, he could be back in as soon as three weeks.

In the meantime, the Phillies are exploring potential trade options for someone who can fill in at second base. But that search was only in the preliminary stages Thursday night.

"As breaks go, it's not that bad of a break," Utley said. "It's definitely disappointing."

Utley, batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs, didn't think he'd be sidelined for a month.

"I think it will be sooner than that," he said.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said that Abraham Nunez will likely replace Utley at second base.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.