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Lance Berkman’s knee problems have him thinking about retirement

Jul 25, 2013, 9:40 PM EDT

Lance Berkman AP

Lance Berkman is currently on the disabled list with left hip inflammation, but his surgically-repaired right knee is the bigger issue right now. In fact, he tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he has considered shutting it down for the rest of the season or even retiring if he doesn’t make progress soon.

“I’ve definitely thought about it,” Berkman said of shutting down for the remainder of the season. “But I haven’t reached any final decisions on it. Hopefully I’ll do the best that I can and help the team. It could also depend on what the team’s needs are. This is an uncertain time of the year for everybody.”

Berkman has already had four surgeries on his right knee and is having trouble fully extending it right now. The 37-year-old was eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but he just resumed running yesterday. His return is still a ways off, if at all.

Injuries limited Berkman to just 32 games with the Cardinals last season, so many were surprised when the Rangers gave him a one-year, $11 million contract over the winter. They’ve received little bang for their buck so far, as he’s batting just .254 with six home runs and a .732 OPS through 68 games this season.

Grant notes that the Rangers have been keeping their eye on hitters like Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, and Kendrys Morales over the past couple of weeks, in part to secure an insurance policy for Nelson Cruz in case of a suspension, but they could ramp up their efforts to land a bat if they feel Berkman can’t be counted on.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Tough news for Berkman. As far as the Rangers are concerned, I understand that Michael Young might be available in a trade.

  2. kicksave1980 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    If Berkman has played in his last game, it was a hell of a career and one that he should be proud of. As a Cardinals fan, even when he played for the hated Astros, it was hard to dislike him. Loved seeing him be such a big part of the 2010 Cardinals championship team.

    • 78mu - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      11 in 11 would not have happened without Berkman. He’s played more games for the Astros but he’ll always be a Cardinal for me.

      And the way he tried to come back late in the season last year is all you need to know how much of a gamer he is. Even if he can’t play anymore it would be nice for him to be in the Cardinal dugout and clubhouse down the stretch.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Right there with you kicksave. Always been a big fan…even during his Astros days.
      The fact that he is always very honest…direct…and to the point in his interviews endears him to people as well. A great career to be sure.

  3. gatordontplay - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    well as an Astros fan its been quite easy to hate on Berkman that fat jaba da hut lazy betraying 1st baseman playing for the cardinals and rangers. signed by a vikings fan formerly jets and packers fan

  4. 13arod - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    gatordontplay he got traded to the yanks so its not like he wanted to leave the astros

  5. pisano - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Good thought.

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    This guy should have retired ages ago

    • tuberippin - Jul 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

      He put up a 164 OPS+ for St. Louis in 2011, and then a 126 OPS+ for them in 2012.

      Even this season he’s still just a hair under league-average while struggling to deal with his right knee.

    • jwbiii - Jul 26, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      You must be in HR. You seem subhuman and a lousy resource.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      “Ages ago?”
      Do you not remember 2011?

  7. gatordontplay - Jul 26, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    he forced a trade. refused to play out field because of bad knees and hamstrings. then signs with cardinals and what do u know is playing in the outfield

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Did you really admit to being a former Vikings fan…
      who switched to the Jets…then switched yet again to the Packers.
      And then after switching to the Packers you jumped of their bandwagon?

      And yet…you expect people to take you seriously?

  8. hk62 - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    For an Astros fan you sure lack much knowledge of the guy that carried them after 2005. (I’ve been a ‘Stros fan since the 70’s). He did not force a trade – he agreed to waive his 10 and 5 rights to allow HOU to get a return for him. His 2006 season ranks with some of the best ever in baseball – not just in Houston and that with no protection in that line up. A real Astros fan is never going to be down on The Big Puma. Who by the way, NEVER had a bad post season – some thing the other Killer B’s (who I still love) cannot say!

  9. gatordontplay - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    it was a bad joke how I hate that Berkman played for our 2 biggest rivals but how I followed Favre around. Berkman wanted out in Houston didn’t want to play in the outfield but did for the cardinals.. Thats a FACT. I have and will continue to follow and support the Astros and look foward to a bright future.

  10. foreverchipper10 - Jul 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    One of my favorite players over the last decade.

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