SAN DIEGO -- A frustrating, injury-riddled year for Lance Berkman has officially come to an end as of Monday. Berkman flew home to Houston to have his troublesome right knee examined, and it was determined that the 36-year-old veteran will require meniscus surgery, a procedure very similar to the one he had in May, scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.
Berkman has battled to recover from that May surgery, a comeback slowed when he was hit by a pitch on July 24.
He has been rehabbing since, and was recalled to the Cardinals on Sept. 1, feeling good enough only for limited pinch-hit duties.
Berkman met with general manager John Mozeliak, manager Mike Matheny and trainer Greg Hauck and "the consensus was at this point in the season and with the diminished role I was playing, it just wasn't happening," he said.
In the midst of the frustrating up-and-down comeback attempts, Berkman indicated that 2012 might be his final season. He's made just six plate appearances since Aug. 3 and played in just 31 games all season. But he says he's not making any decisions just yet.
"I'm leaving my options open," Berkman said on Monday.
As disappointed as Matheny was to lose the production of a man who was once a lock for 25-plus homers a year, he said the toughest part of watching Berkman's 2012 saga was the toll he knew it took on Berkman.
"It's tough on a player who's just been beat up, fighting all season ... just the mental anguish of: Can I do this, now what, what's next, all the hype, then the disappointment. It's just an absolute roller-coaster," Matheny said.
"I felt like I've pretty much exhausted all other avenues," Berkman said. "I did the strengthening program, two injections, one in each knee. There were things we tried. It wasn't happening. Unfortunately, this is the last resort. I gave it a go."