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Lance Berkman leaves game with serious-looking knee injury

May 20, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

Lance Berkman, Mike Matheny AP

The Cardinals are suddenly taking punches.

First baseman Lance Berkman had to be helped off the field Saturday night at Dodger Stadium after losing his balance while stretching for a throw from shortstop Rafael Furcal. It appeared that his right knee buckled under him, and he was clearly in pain as he carefully made his way into the dugout aided by trainer Chris Conroy and manager Mike Matheny.

Berkman has undergone four different knee procedures — two to each knee — in his major league career, but he wasn’t able to make a quick diagnosis of this particular injury. It felt different than the kind of issues he’s dealt with in the past.

“It doesn’t feel right,” Berkman told reporters, including’s Jen Langosch. “I wish I knew more than that. … I didn’t feel a pop. [The joint] just kind of slid on me a little bit. That’s the best way I can describe it.”

The Cardinals are concerned enough about his status that they removed first base prospect Matt Adams in the fifth inning of Triple-A Memphis’ game (and presumably told him to get on the next flight to Los Angeles). Adams, a promising 23-year-old, was batting .340/.375/.603 with nine home runs in 37 games this year at the Triple-A level. He slugged 32 home runs in 115 games last season at Double-A Springfield.

St. Louis has lost three straight games. Sunday’s series finale with the Dodgers will be broadcast on ESPN.

  1. youjivinmeturkey - May 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    It Did Look Bad.

  2. cur68 - May 20, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Good luck, Phat Elvis. Knee injuries suck.

  3. missthemexpos - May 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Adam Lind is available!

  4. hiltonandastoria - May 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    So who is coming off the 40 man roster for the Cards?

    • Drew Silva - May 20, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      They have two open spots, I believe.

      • hiltonandastoria - May 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        yup they are currently at 38 with Adams, thanks

      • hiltonandastoria - May 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM


  5. paperlions - May 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    The injuries suck, sure….but what is worse is watching the pitching staff nibble against and eventually walk crappy hitters….and the fielders play crappy defense….forget making good plays….lately, they can’t even make the routine ones.

  6. pullinteeth - May 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    How can u not like Big Puma. I thought he was a class act even when he raked against us while playing for the Astronauts. Now that he is a Cardinal I see a spark in him that I think he had started losing those last couple yeara. Especially when he was on the Yanks. It’s been good to see him cheerful and finding his mojo on the diamond. Best of luck Lance. Baseball fans from many different teams hope u are back competing very soon. If he isn’t a class act then who the hell is?

  7. okwhitefalcon - May 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    This last week or so has become every Cards worst nightmare.

    A string of injuries to fragile vets, young(er) guys with sketchy health pasts’ failing to remain upright, the starters coming back to earth, the relievers throwing gas on fires and the defense losing all sense of fundamental skill and play.

    This is a huge test for Mo and especially Matheny, this season has the chance to go south – and fast.

    • paperlions - May 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      I agree. Smart people would do nothing. Craig’s injury isn’t bad and he’ll be back soon. Jay will also be back soon. That puts Carpenter on the bench.

      Beltran seems okay, Freese and Furcal have stayed healthy. Hopefully, Carpenter will start throwing next month. All they have to do is win the division….and there aren’t any other very good teams in it. What you don’t want to do is panic and make unnecessary moves.

      • okwhitefalcon - May 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Panic mode would be the worst thing they could do at this point, just keep the boat afloat
        and hope they guys called upon step up and perform in a fashion that doesn’t cost them victories until others return. Greene fieldng routine ground balls, Robinson hitting the cutoff man and Holliday making plays that aren’t a bit more than right at him would help the cause tremendously.

        As for Beltran being okay, I’m not sure the Cards feel the same way – he looked extremely tentative Friday night but improved last night. Unfortunately Freese and Furcal’s history
        show us they’ll go down at some point – let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

      • stex52 - May 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        I really hated to see this because I am a big Berkman fan. But you are certainly right about the hitting. They will miss him, but having him and Beltran was always an insurance policy, knowing both had bad knees. I am a little less sure about the pitching; if Carpenter is slow back and Wainwright continues to struggle a bit they may need some depth.

        But in the meantime, I hope Lance is okay. He is a classy guy, and I’d like to see him go out on more of a high note.

      • paperlions - May 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Freese’s history isn’t your typical injury stuff though….mostly freak stuff like breaking his ankle in a car crash (while driving drunk), broken hand from HBP….those things can happen to anyone….he seems mostly to have been unlucky/stupid….but yeah, maybe he’s just clumsy.

      • okwhitefalcon - May 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        The pitching is definitely a concern, nobody in their right man thought they could keep up the pace they’d set early on, that was never going to happen. Waino is understandably still trying to find his way, who know what’ll happen with Carp – hope for the best be but prepared for the worst.

        The bullpen is already seeing signs of overexposure, no other lefty beyond Scabble
        isn’t exact;y ideal, they’re clearly not comfy with Sanchez learning on the job and as mentioned above by paper, the nibbling – oh the nibbling….

  8. okwhitefalcon - May 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    It’s official, Puma DL’d and Matt Adams up and will be wearing #53.

    Early uncomfirmed word has Adams in the lineup tonight in LA.

    Time to step up big fella, you’ve hit everywhere you’ve been thus far – here’s hoping you follow the trend in the show.

  9. jwbiii - May 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    “I don’t think it’s one of those deals where you sit out a week and see where your are. I think it’s much more serious than that.”

    Not good.

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