KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros first baseman Lance Berkman's road to recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery took a slight detour Tuesday when the five-time All-Star said his left knee "swelled back up a good bit" after taking ground balls and trying to run.
Berkman, who had surgery March 13 to clean out loose cartilage, was in good spirits at the batting cage prior to Tuesday's game and -- prior to running -- said he thought there was a 70 percent chance he would be ready for Opening Day. He's not as hopeful now.
"When I tried to run, I just couldn't do it," he said. "They're going to back me down for a few days and see what happens."
The recovery time on the surgery was two to four weeks, and Berkman has barely passed the halfway point. If he starts the season in the disabled list, he would have to miss at least the first four games of the regular season before being eligible to return.
"I was hopeful that by increasing activities that it wouldn't irritate it, and apparently it's going to," he said. "I need to drop down to where I just swing a little bit. Today I took ground balls and moved around a good bit, and it didn't respond like I wanted it to."
Astros general manager Ed Wade said he plans to talk with Berkman and head athletic trainer Nate Lucero on Wednesday morning and discuss the slugger's future.
"I talked to Nate before and after the game, and we'll probably sit down with Lance tomorrow and try to ascertain where it is at this point in time," Wade said. "Obviously, with fluid building up in the knee it's impeding what he can do and what activities he can do. We'll have a better idea tomorrow."
If Berkman is placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season, the earliest he would be able to be activated would be the fifth game of the season, April 10, against the Phillies at Minute Maid Park. That would put him at four weeks since the surgery.