Berkman misses second straight game
Injured left wrist continues to hamper Astros' slugger
HOUSTON -- Lance Berkman was planning to test his sore left wrist by hitting off a tee on Saturday, but after taking one dry swing, he stopped.
Berkman missed a second consecutive game against the Padres, and judging by his description of the severity of the pain, it's likely he'll be sidelined Sunday as well.
"It's not a good sign," Berkman said. "I don't like missing games, but there's no point in going out there and letting this linger. If I've got to miss a game, I'd rather miss a couple than a week or two. I'm going to go ahead and try to take care of it."
Berkman suffered the injury on a check swing in his final at-bat Thursday. He was examined by team physician Dr. Tom Mehlhoff the next day and was told he has sprained cartilage. He was also re-examined by medical director Dr. David Lintner on Saturday.
"I don't know a lot about that kind of thing, but I do know when it comes to a knee, whenever you think of cartilage, it's just inflammation that takes three or four days," Berkman said. "[Mehlhoff] did say if it wasn't much better by, say, [Sunday], they could inject it and that would take care of a lot of inflammation. I don't think it's anything that's going to require any sort of major attention."
Berkman first said the wrist was "tender," but he then corrected himself and described a "sharp pain whenever I'm swinging."
Although Berkman has been struggling offensively all season, he hates not being able to play.
"You feel like a big fat toad just hanging around," he said. "I don't know that I could hurt it any worse, but I think [trying to play through it] could prolong this thing."
Manager Cecil Cooper brushed aside any suggestion that Berkman may need a disabled-list stint to give himself enough time to heal.
"It's too early to say that," Cooper said, adding that Berkman is available as an emergency right-handed hitter. "Two or three days, he'll be OK."
In other injury news, it's entirely possible that right-hander Doug Brocail won't return until the All-Star break, if he returns at all this year. The 42-year-old reliever has a torn tendon in his right calf, and while he's opting for the rest and rehab route rather than surgery, there are no guarantees it will work.
"If this doesn't work, then I have to have reattachment surgery," he said. "[The tendon] is off the bone."
Asked if he would be sidelined at least another month, he responded, "Oh yeah."
"I'll shoot for that," he said. "It's funny to feel that ball [the tendon] down there. It's just hanging. It broke off, and it rolled right down."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.