Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this season because of inflammation in his right knee. Berkman, who had knee surgery in late May, barely could get out of the batter's box in his last at-bat on Thursday in Denver.
Berkman, who earlier was on the DL for a hamstring injury and the knee injury that required surgery, will be replaced on the roster by outfielder Shane Robinson, who has been with the big league club most of the season and was recalled from Class AAA Memphis. Robinson will be in center field tonight here against Milwaukee.
Catcher Yadier Molina, who missed Wednesday's game with a sprained right thumb, had X-rays today but no break was found and he is playing tonight.
"I was thinking it was something worse, but it turns out it's just a bruise," Molina said.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal also was examined and nothing more was determined other than the previous diagnosis of lower back discomfort and, he, too, is in the lineup after missing five games.
"Today I'm feeling better than the last three or four days," Furcal said. "I got checked out, and to see the MRI, it was a little irritated from old back surgery I had, nothing bad. They wanted to give me shot to make sure, but I said we're going to do it with work and see what happens."
Berkman said he was sure he would be able to play again this season, but less sure if he would be able to play again in August. "Maybe," he said. "I would like to think that."
Berkman said what he needed to do was get his knee stronger, and the strengthening process will work better if he's not playing in games at the same time. "You have to exhaust it," Berkman said. "In terms of the pain level, it's a little sore, but I can jog, I can run, but the torque and having to support that kind of explosive type movement is where I'm lacking. In the field, I don't feel very agile, I'm not moving very well at first base. That's a strength issue as well."