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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.