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Lance Berkman out at least 8-10 weeks after knee surgery

May 25, 2012, 12:07 PM EDT

Lance Berkman, Mike Matheny AP

The total extent of Lance Berkman‘s knee injury was unclear until he underwent surgery this morning and now the verdict is in, as the Cardinals announced that he’ll miss “approximately 8-10 weeks.”

According to the team the surgery repaired Berkman’s torn meniscus, but there was no mention of his ACL after the veteran switch-hitter and the Cardinals disagreed about whether or not it was torn as well.

All in all the result qualifies as positive news because 8-10 weeks on the sidelines means Berkman could potentially be back in the lineup around mid-August. That’s a best-case scenario, of course, and at age 36 it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if any setbacks put his status for the entire season in question. A torn ACL, however, would have ended his season and possibly his career.

Matt Adams will get an extended opportunity at first base in Berkman’s absence and the 23-year-old prospect has the potential to make an impact after consistently hitting for big-time power in the minors. Prior to being called up last week Adams played a total of 152 games between Double-A and Triple-A since the beginning of last season, hitting .310 with 41 homers and 33 doubles. He doesn’t walk much, but the guy can mash.

  1. ajcardsfan - May 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I’m classifying this as mediocre news, not really good, not really terrible, just bleh

  2. okwhitefalcon - May 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Keep in mind the Cards brass said Allen Craig maybe ready for opening day and had Chris Carpenter looking at a mid June return.

    We know what happened with both of those…

    They tend to bright side it publicly so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is indeed the case here as well..

    • paperlions - May 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Actually, the Cardinals originally stated Craig would be out until May…it was at training camp that Craig said he was shooting for opening day. The 8-10 week estimate is pretty standard for a torn meniscus…problem is that Berkman is older than most players…so it could take a couple of more weeks.

      Glad it isn’t a torn ACL though….wouldn’t mind seeing him back as a bench player/depth guy next year.

      • stex52 - May 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        You show admirable ability to look at the long term in a high stress situation. But I think your point is probably right for two reasons:

        1. The knees may be hell, but he hasn’t lost bat speed yet.
        2. Having said that, even if he has recovered in ten weeks it is starting to be hard to see how he could be ready for playoffs pitching with a relatively short time to get back in the game.

        We will try to be optimists, though.

      • paperlions - May 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        eh, it isn’t high stress for me…there isn’t anything I can do about it, I’m just a fan, not an employee…so…no stress.

        I am just applying the sage advice of the Bush Stadium Streaker (hakuna matata). If you can do something about it, then do it…worrying does no good. If you can’t do something about it, worrying still does no good….so….hakuna matata….then apparently you get naked and run around on national TV and in front of 40,000 people.

        Besides, you have to look at things with the long-term in mind, otherwise you think signing Erik Aybar to a $36M deal is a good idea…or signing Pujols to $254M deal is a good idea….or signing ARod to a $275M deal is a good idea….or you are irresponsible with your credit….or become frustrated with teaching/training/learning when progress is slow. Few things in life that are good happen quickly…they usually require a lot of small investments over time and patience (in contrast, many horrible things in life happen suddenly and without warning…you deal with them as they come…worrying about things that may never happen is also a waste of energy).

      • spudchukar - May 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        Easy come, easy go.

    • okwhitefalcon - May 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Been listening to some STL Radio today, nobody seems to be buying the 8-10 week return time for Puma.

      Bernie Miklasz noted Berkman’s spring admission his knee was feeling “unstable” and the additional cartilage damage that was addressed today, there was also mention of a possible follow up procedure being necessary as well. Cards spinning focus on the “There’s no ACL damage” narrative with other concerns being downplayed.

      Early reports have Puma returning to STL for rehab to spend as much time with the team as he can when he could have easily chosen to stay in Houston with his family and base from there.

      Mozeliak is going to be on am1380 in the 3PM hour, listen online here:

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Get well soon Lance.

  4. yankeesfanlen - May 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    [Seinfeld voice] Berkman!

  5. jeffa43 - May 25, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Lance will make a die hard Astro fan pull for him even in St. Loui….

    Baseball is better when you are playing…

    Get well Lance.

    DH in Houston next year?

  6. spudchukar - May 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Sounds like good news to me. Rounding into form for the stretch drive, fine tuning his swing for the DH spot for the WS home games in the American League parks.

  7. okwhitefalcon - May 25, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Sounds like Puma is optimistic about his return, from the STL Post Dispatch:

    Berkman to Matheny: ‘I’ll be back’

    Cardinals manager Mike Matheny got a call from Houston about mid-day today. He expected the caller to be a little punchy after anesthesia, but Matheny heard first baseman Lance Berkman loud and clear.

    Berkman, after having meniscus and cartilage tears repaired in his right knee, told Matheny, “Yeah, I’m going to be back.”

    The Cardinals announced that Berkman was likely to be out eight to 10 weeks worth of rehabilitation and recovery, but that was better than the alternative. Berkman had feared there would be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament but none was found, according to Matheny.

    “I think he was surprised,” said Matheny. “He thought it probably was worse. I was interested to hear from him that soon. I thought he would still be medicated.

    “But it was great to hear his voice and hear that excitement. He’s thinking about counting down the days until he’s back.”

    Berkman will spend the early days/weeks of his rest period in Houston before he is scheduled to come back to St. Louis. But it appears the Cardinals will have their middle-of-the-order threat back well before the end of the season.

    “It was great news,” said Matheny “As good a news as we could get. The doctors were extremely optimistic about what they saw.”

    Read more:

  8. mungman69 - May 25, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    He will be back before winter. It’s too cold then.

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