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Lance Berkman Injury: Former Killer B Won't Return For Start Of Cardinals Vs. Astros Series

Lance Berkman is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but's Jenifer Langosch is reporting that the first baseman, who's been dealing with a lingering calf injury since legging out a triple early in the season, won't return immediately.

The Cardinals could hardly have asked for a better time than this to deal with Berkman's injury. Matt Carpenter, the rookie third baseman pressed into service at the start of his DL stint, is hitting .279/.338/.485 in 68 at-bats, mostly at first, and now Allen Craig, the Cardinals' primary reserve for all their veteran sluggers, has made his own return; he's 4-9 with two doubles in two games since coming off the disabled list.

Berkman, hitting 8-23 with two doubles and the fateful triple in just five games this season, will have to contribute at some point, and he should be ready to try soon. But for now, the Cardinals have hardly felt his absence at all.

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