Lance Berkman Returns From Knee Surgery

Lance Berkman returned to the Cardinals' lineup after spending nearly two months on the disabled list recovering from knee surgery.

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Lance Berkman Activated From Disabled List

Lance Berkman returned to the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup on Saturday, less than two months after knee surgery to repair meniscus and cartilage tears in his right knee. Part of the reason he's able to make such a speedy return is the fact that he's been activated without the benefit of a minor-league rehab assignment to regain his rhythm.

"We have an urgency to put the best team out there that we can, and I think it's without question what he adds to this team with the intangibles and the tangibles," manager Mike Matheny said, according to "We thought there was a way to rush that process a little bit."

Berkman, who's played just 13 games this season due to injury, sounds content shaking off the rust against big-league competition.

"There's really not a whole lot you can fine tune until you get back in there and start playing against live competition," Berkman said. "For me, it's just making sure that I get my body back in shape to swing the bat and where you feel like you can compete when you go out there. I'm pretty much right at that level."

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Lance Berkman Set For Saturday Return

It wasn't that long ago that Lance Berkman was scared that his career was over. The initial diagnosis of his right-knee injury was a torn ACL, which would have put him out for at least the rest of the season, and he wasn't sure if he was willing to do the rehabilitation that would have been required to get back on the field in 2013.

But it wasn't a torn ACL for Berkman -- it was a torn meniscus, which sounds just as bad but isn't. And it was a minor-enough injury to get Berkman back in the middle of July:

In Berkman's absence the Cardinals played a couple of other guys who could hit -- Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter -- so it wasn't that big of a loss. In fact, the Cardinals will have a crazy decision to make, as there are three spots for Berkman, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, and Allen Craig. Who sits? Obviously not Beltran or Holliday ... but they can't possibly sit Craig, who's hit like an MVP candidate since he was put into the starting lineup. Which means they sit Berkman, except that doesn't make sense either. He's the kind of hitter who could give you Lance Berkman-type performance.

It's a problem. But it's a horrible, fantastic problem, and no one should feel bad for the Cardinals.


Lance Berkman Rejoining Cardinals Soon

The St. Louis Cardinals felt pretty good about losing Albert Pujols -- or well enough, anyway -- because they had Lance Berkman at hand, available to shift from right field to Pujols's old spot at first base. In fact, that might have been the plan all along.

Either way, it worked out really well!

For about two weeks. Berkman hit like Babe Ruth, while Pujols was hitting like Mario Mendoza with his new team, the Whatevers of Whatever. Then Berkman hurt his knee, and eventually Pujos started hitting like Pujols.

Berkman opened the season with the Cardinals, played for a week, went on the Disabled List, came back and played for another week, and now he's been out of action since the 19th of May.

Good news, though:

Oddly enough, the Cardinals haven't really missed Berkman, who was their best hitter last year. In his absence, Allen Craig -- who entered the season without a regular job -- has played more first base than anyone, and this year he has been the Cardinals' best hitter.

Which, with Berkman coming back, leaves manager Mike Matheny with more good hitters than he can really use. Oh, and that's not even considering rookie Matt Carpenter, who's also played some first base and also been really good. If only one of the Cardinals' first basemen could play center field or second base.


Lance Berkman Returning Shortly After All-Star Break

For a while there, the news wasn't good on Lance Berkman. There was a problem with his right knee, and the initial doctor's visit hinted at a torn ACL. That would have put him out for the year, and the 36-year-old Berkman even hinted at the possibility of retirement if that was the diagnosis.

After scans and second opinions, though, it turned out that Berkman had only a torn meniscus. Which still sounds really, really painful. But apparently it isn't. And now Berkman is hoping he can be back later in the month:

That's great news for the Cardinals, who have been forced to suffer through exceptionally productive play from players like Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter. The horror. The horror. But getting Berkman back would certainly get them back to the lineup they were expecting this offseason.


Lance Berkman Has Torn Meniscus, Seeks Second Opinion On ACL

Lance Berkman has a serious knee injury. That, we know for certain, and he has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. There were reports earlier Monday that he might have a torn ACL, which would put him out for the season and could be career-ending.

Now, this scenario is not so certain:

Goold continued in a second tweet:

So, maybe it’s not as bad as originally thought. But a torn meniscus, for a 36-year-old player with some injury history, is still pretty serious. We, along with the Cardinals, will wait for that second opinion.

For more on the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.


Lance Berkman Could Have Torn ACL, According To Report

The CardinalsLance Berkman left Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a knee injury; after the game he couldn’t even put weight on the leg in the clubhouse.

This injury could be more serious than originally feared, and fears were pretty bad originally. Joe Strauss:

Berkman advanced the possibility of having merely torn his meniscus Saturday night. Sunday he still exhibited acute stiffness around the knee. “I really can’t do anything,” he lamented.

Sources familiar with Saturday’s preliminary examination by two Dodgers team doctors said Sunday that an ACL tear is suspected.

Berkman, placed on the disabled list Sunday morning, recognized that his next game may be a long time off.

ACL tears seem almost epidemic in baseball this season, not to mention the NBA’s Derrick Rose. If this turns out to be true, it could mean the end of Berkman’s career:

“You think about it when you have a potentially major surgery at this stage of your career,” he said. “… I don’t think it’s one of those deals where you sit out a week and see where you are. I think it’s much more serious than that.”

MRI results with a definitive diagnosis are expected later Monday.

For more on the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.

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