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Lance Berkman has a bruised knee

Mar 2, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

Bad news for Houston, as Lance Berkman was held out of today’s workout because of what the team is calling a “bruised” knee.  He didn’t bang it, but there is swelling and discomfort, which Berkman thinks he might have done while running the bases.

The team isn’t concerned, but Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll — not a doctor, but very knowledgeable about sports injuries all the same — says that a “bruise” absent any trauma suggests an arthritic problem.

It’s obviously way too early to tell if this is truly serious or if he’ll miss any real time. But injuries to Berkman may be less important to the Astros from a can-he-play perspective this season than they are from a can-we-trade-him perspective, what with him in a walk a year and the Astros showing no real intention to sign him to an extension, and the prospect of some chronic knee problem could hurt his trade value, even if he manages to suit up for Houston.

  1. woody_eh - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    i don’t see how someone can bruise their knee without a direct blow to the knee. atraumatic swelling and pain in an athlete whose sport requires twisting of the knee is a meniscus injury until proven otherwise imo.

  2. Ron - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Berkman is a hitter, not a basestealer. Why is he being forced to run the bases when he could get hurt. That’s ridiculous. He’s too valuable to his team.
    Why aren’t there mandatory designated runners for all the hitters in the game in order to avoid this?
    Guys like Berkman make too much money too be expected to actually run the bases, and are paid to hit, not run.
    See, spring training is a time for all of us to get into game shape, and not just the players.

  3. onesweetworld - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    I guess Will Carroll is staying in a Holiday Inn Express for spring training this year

  4. gary - Mar 2, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Will Carroll’s not a doctor. He just plays one on the internets.

  5. smsetnor - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Wow. His UZR his gonna take a big hit this year if he can’t move around…

  6. Will Carroll - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Woody — the bruising comes from the bone-on-bone contact of the tibial or fibular plateaus with the descending femur. Yes, there’s a meniscal insufficiency, but not necessarily a defect.
    In English, his bones are banging together.

  7. InnocentBystander - Mar 2, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    How is this bad news for the Astros? Mind you I’m not referring to the injury itself, but anytime you can eliminate Ed Wade from being able to make a deal…

  8. woody_eh - Mar 2, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    symptomatic osteochondral defects in the knee of a professional baseball player is rare. magglio ordonez is the last one that i can remember. mo vaughn a long time ago. symptomatic meniscal tear or degeneration is common. most of these guys get scoped, cleaned up, and resume playing in 4-6 weeks…sometimes sooner. another guy to watch this spring on wobbly knees is hideki matsui.

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