Cards: Berkman out 8 to 10 weeks after knee surgery -

Cards: Berkman out 8 to 10 weeks after knee surgery

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks following surgery Friday on his injured right knee. That’s unexpected good news for a player who thought he might miss the rest of the season.

The team said the arthroscopic surgery found a partial tear in the medial meniscus, which was removed. Doctors also found cartilage tear, which was debrided.

“Great news, as good news as we could get from this,” said manager Mike Matheny, who spoke with Berkman after the operation. “The conversation was ‘I’m going to be back.’

“He thought it was probably worse. The doctors were extremely optimistic with what they saw.”

Berkman had feared possible damage to the anterior cruciate ligament. Matheny said Berkman sounded surprised when he explained the state of the knee to the manager.

“He tried to explain it to me but it was like using a diagram over the phone and it wasn’t working,” Matheny said.

Berkman has played just 13 games this season, also missing significant time with a pulled left calf muscle. The knee injury occurred on May 19.

He was a key part of the team’s championship run in 2011, hitting .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs in 145 games, and batted either fourth or fifth in his games this season.

Berkman will begin his recovery and rehabilitation in Houston, where he spent most of his career and where he had the surgery. Matheny said it be more “rest than rehab for a while.”

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