Berkman joked that he "didn't want to upstage [Tony La Russa] with [his] return to the game," but in actuality, the decision not to be activated from the disabled list came after Berkman told the Cardinals' staff that he felt some soreness in his left calf when he pushed through sprinting drills on Wednesday.
"It was just a little more sore than I wanted it to be," Berkman said. "I still think it's not something that's going to be that much longer. I've already wasted three weeks of the season. Now that I've spent three weeks on the DL, I want to make sure that it's right before I come back. It doesn't feel like I would like it to feel."
Berkman, who has been on the DL with the ailing calf since April 19, elevated his workouts on Wednesday in what he thought would be one final test. He more than doubled the sprinting exercises he had been doing, but didn't feel his leg respond as he was expecting it to.
"It just got fatigued," Berkman said. "I think that demonstrated that I'm not quite ready to come back and get in there every day."
The Cardinals continue to characterize Berkman's status as day to day. The first baseman did participate in batting practice on Friday, but no one has set a certain date for his return.
"We want it to be 100 percent," manager Mike Matheny said. "[We don't want to] get him back here when he's close and then have any setbacks that put him back on the DL."