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Lance Berkman needs knee surgery, making him doubtful for Opening Day

Mar 13, 2010, 9:53 AM EDT

Update: According to Alyson Footer, Astros Sr. Director of Social Media, Berkman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this morning. Dr. David Crumbie removed loose cartilage debris from the knee and did not see any sign of ligament or meniscus damage. He’s still expected to miss 2-4 weeks, leaving Opening Day in doubt.
Friday 1:40 pm:’s Brian McTaggart reports that Lance Berkman will undergo arthroscopic surgery “to remove loose particles from his left knee” and will miss 2-4 weeks, putting his status for Opening Day in serious jeopardy.
“Whether or not he’s going to be ready for Opening Day really just depends on the healing process,” general manager Ed Wade said. “They haven’t even gone in yet so it’s too early to tell, but the normal time frame would be two-to-four weeks. We’ll see where it flows from there.”
Berkman was sidelined early in camp after bruising his knee during a drill, but Astros team doctor David Lintner called the injury “not serious” and the first baseman returned to the lineup for the next five games, going 4-for-11 with three doubles.
Berkman even said at the time that doctors advised him playing through the pain was “not going to be able to make it worse,” but apparently things have changed. Given that he’s a 34-year-old with a history of knee problems Berkman figures to be on the long end of the recovery timetable, making Opening Day a serious long shot.
As part of a six-year, $85 million contract Houston holds a $15 million team option or $2 million buyout on Berkman for next season, so after 14 years in the organization there was already speculation that they’d look to trade him or simply decline the option. He ranks sixth on the Astros’ all-time list for games played and is second to only Jeff Bagwell in homers.

  1. OsandRoyals - Mar 12, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Can you hear Ed Wade’s line ringing off the hook from all the agents with first basemen clients? Maybe Dye can pretend to be a first-baseman for a few weeks while acting as a fifth outfielder. Naaaah too crazy
    Also I just realized that CTB, I mean HBT added recaptchas. I guess that means CBS doesn’t have a big brother computer system…

  2. eh? - Mar 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    that’s as good news as astros could expect. he may not miss much time at all. the footer report doesn’t answer the question of how severe the “arthritis” in his knee is. some guys are crazy and keep the bits of debris that come out of their joints. joel zumaya told a reporter once that he has a thumb (nail?) sized bit of debris that was removed from his shoulder.

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