Lance Berkman Injury: Cardinals Poised To Get All-Star Slugger Back

Lance Berkman has healed up over the All-Star Break and should be ready for action soon.

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Lance Berkman Injury Update: Cardinals Slugger Poised For Saturday Return

The St. Louis Cardinals released some positive news on Friday, reporting that 1B Lance Berkman should be ready to return as soon as Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Berkman had "checked all the boxes" with respect to his physical state and now the manage just needs Berkman's okay:

"Ultimately, it's usually the player's call, especially a player with a lot of tenure," Matheny said.

Berkman was a key component to the Cardinals' 2011 World Series run, hitting 31 homers with an impressive .301/.412/.571 slash. So far in the 2012 season, however, injuries have limited him to just 49 plate appearances and a single home run.

When Berkman returns, the team figures to slot 1B Allen Craig back into his super utility role.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more coverage of this series, visit St. Louis Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos and Reds blog Red Reporter. For additional baseball coverage, check out Baseball Nation and MLB Daily Dish.

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Lance Berkman Injury Troubles Appear Resolved; With Beltran, Craig Out, He'll Start Regularly

Lance Berkman's injury problems in 2012 have been weirdly obscure all the way through, from the month he missed with a lingering calf injury to the unexplained way he was scratched from a lineup against the Chicago Cubs. Wednesday night, though, in the St. Louis Cardinals' win over the San Francisco Giants, Berkman started at first base, went 0-4, and had nothing particularly weird happen. Which is important: With Carlos Beltran's lingering knee injury and Allen Craig's hamstring issue it looks like the Cardinals won't have nearly as many chances to rest Berkman as they'd hoped.

Good news for Berkman's fantasy owners, bad news for the team; aside from Matt Carpenter, who continues to back Berkman up admirably but will probably be needed in the outfield, the Cardinals now have precious little padding sitting between their starters at the corners and AAA Memphis, where Matt Adams, the nearest prospect to ready, is distinctly unable to play any position but first base.

More Cardinals news from SB Nation St. Louis:

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