MRI reveals torn meniscus for Berkman; ACL tear not ruled out
By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com
A magnetic resonance imaging examination on Monday determined that Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman has suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee, as well as some torn cartilage. A more severe injury to the anterior cruciate ligament was not found during Monday’s exam, but it has also not yet been ruled out.
Berkman is scheduled to fly to Vail, Colo., later this week to have Dr. Richard Steadman provide a second opinion. At the least, Berkman will undergo a scope to repair damage to the meniscus. During the procedure, it will also be determined whether the ACL has been compromised and therefore would also need repair.
According to general manager John Mozeliak, who said he remains “cautiously optimistic” that there is no ACL damage, Berkman will be sidelined at least 6-8 weeks. If Berkman needs to have surgery on the ACL, he will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
While the club is hopeful that Berkman will be able to play again this season, the first baseman admitted on Monday that he is “not as optimistic.” He made the assessment based both on what he was told by team doctors that examined him Monday and by what he felt in his knee at the point of injury.
Berkman’s primary concern is why such an ordinary movement – catching a routine putout at first base – would cause such significant damage to the meniscus if there wasn’t an underlying problem. He said he would not be surprised if that underlying issue is the ACL, which he has already had repaired once in his career.
“Its effectiveness is debatable, considering the way I got hurt,” Berkman said, speaking of the ACL. “The major concern right now is: Is it effective in protecting that joint from sliding around? All the evidence points to that it’s not.”
Berkman injured his knee closing out the second inning of Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers. After catching a ball at first, he took a few hops before sitting on the infield grass. He could not leave the field without assistance.
Berkman was with his teammates at Busch Stadium on Monday, moving around with the assistance of crutches.
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