Lance Berkman: Injury Ends Berkman's Season; Career Possibly Over

The St. Louis Cardinals have lost Lance Berkman for the season after a string of injuries ends with additional surgery.

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13 Total Updates since August 18, 2012
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Lance Berkman will get $10 million in Texas

The Texas Rangers paid Lance Berkman for 2013 nearly as much as the St. Louis Cardinals paid him for 2012.

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Lance Berkman, Astros will talk for 2013

The St. Louis Cardinals' former mastermind will try to bring Lance Berkman and the Houston Astros back together for 2013's American League bow.

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Lance Berkman Injury: Knee Surgery Will End St. Louis Cardinals Slugger's Season, Possibly Career

Lance Berkman's discussed retirement all season, but in the wake of his latest knee injury—which will require another surgery, to be performed Tuesday according to the St. Louis Cardinals' official Twitter—his career seems more in doubt than ever. What is certain: To replace him, the Cardinals have recalled Steven Hill, the right-handed catcher/first baseman/pinch hitter who's 1-7 with a double in limited playing time this season.

If this is the end of the line for Lance Berkman, it surely takes nothing away from his career, both with the Houston Astros and the Cardinals. As an Astro he was consistently among the very best hitters in the National League; as a Cardinal he hit .301 with 31 home runs and saved the Cardinals' improbable World Series run with an RBI single sandwiched forever between those two David Freese moments.

Even with his knee barely functioning Berkman hit this year; in 31 games he'll finish the 2012 season with a line of .263/.385/.450. To date, the 36-year-old is a career .296/.409/.544 hitter, with 360 home runs and 1200 RBI.

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Lance Berkman Retirement Talk Resumes During Most Recent Rehab Stint

For the second time in a year Lance Berkman has sparked his own retirement rumors amid an injury rehab stint, but this time things are considerably more direct: He told Joe Strauss Friday that he was "leaning toward not playing next year," though he evoked Brett Favre in suggesting he didn't want to announce that specifically until he was completely certain. The St. Louis Cardinals' erstwhile first baseman—he probably lost his job to Allen Craig a few knee injuries ago—is rehabbing with AAA Memphis anyway, and drew a walk in his first game there.

By the time rosters open up on September 1, Berkman should be available for the Cardinals as an expensive, effective pinch hitter, as well as continued insurance for his injury-prone fellows, Craig and Carlos Beltran. But right now he sounds like a guy who isn't about to do what some have suggested he might—return to Minute Maid Park as the Houston Astros' first full-time designated hitter after his former team moves to the American League.

In 28 games this year Lance Berkman is hitting .267/.389/.467 with two home runs and seven RBI. In 2011, a year after looking similarly done between Houston and Yankee Stadium, Berkman roared back for a career-high OPS+ and 31 home runs as the World Championship Cardinals' starting right fielder.

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Lance Berkman Injury: The St. Louis Cardinals' 1B Returns To The DL

The St. Louis Cardinals will have to deal again with Lance Berkman's knee injury.

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Lance Berkman Injury: Cardinals 1B Placed On Disabled List With Right Knee Inflammation

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman, who has played in just 28 games this season, is headed back to the disabled list, the team announced on Friday. The Cardinals recalled Shane Robinson from triple-A, and he'll start in center field; Allen Craig will handle the first base duties.

Related: Brewers Vs. Cardinals Preview: Joe Kelly Starts For St. Louis On Friday

This is third trip to the disabled list in 2012 for Berkman, who had knee surgery back in May. In his injury-limited time with the Cardinals in 2012, Berkman has hit .267/.389/.467 with seven doubles, two home runs and seven RBI.

For more on the Cardinals stick with SB Nation St. Louis or head over to Viva El Birdos. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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Lance Berkman Injury Update: Cardinals Slugger Does Not 'Have Any Bat Speed'

According to his own admission, 1B Lance Berkman is struggling. In a recent talk with the media, Berkman said his timing and vision were where they needed to be, but that his bat was just not moving at the right pace:

"The fact is I feel great in terms of how I'm seeing the ball," Berkman said. "I'm not swinging at many bad pitches. I feel like my timing is good. What's lacking is bat speed. I just don't have any bat speed right now."

The 36-year-old Berkman is hitting an impressive .275/.393/.471 in the 2012 season, despite sporting only 1 home run. He hit 31 homers in 2011 season, a comeback year for him, in which he helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series victory.

For more on the Cardinals stick with SB Nation St. Louis or head over to Viva El Birdos. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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