Berkman not optimistic he can return by Series

Berkman not optimistic he can return by Series

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though he is making continued progress in rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee, Lance Berkman is also realistic about how much more ground he has to cover before being deemed healthy enough to contribute on a postseason roster.

And with the World Series only three days away, Berkman is now characterizing his chances of being a roster addition as unlikely.

"It's coming up here pretty quick," Berkman said of the Fall Classic. "I'm not going to rule it out entirely, but I just don't want to put the team in a bad spot. I have to be pretty close to 100 percent or I wouldn't want to take a spot."

Since undergoing his second knee procedure of the season in September, Berkman has held out hope that he could work back into playing shape if the Cardinals made another run to the World Series. He has been taking swings in the indoor cage for several weeks now and has also resumed running, though only in straight lines.

But his ability to run the bases still remains a concern, and Berkman knows the Cardinals cannot afford to carry him on a roster if he is only available to hit.

"I have to be able to score," Berkman said. "With a 25-man roster, you don't want to be in a spot where you are burning players because I can't run. That has to be a factor.

"If I had another couple weeks, it would be easy. But we don't have that."

Berkman said he does expect an eventual full recovery, meaning that his knees shouldn't be the deciding factor as to whether he returns to play in 2013. Berkman has said he will make a decision about his future during the offseason, after he sees how much interest he draws as a free agent.