HOUSTON -- Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman, who has been on the disabled list since July 7, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. Berkman is not to the point where he is 100 percent or even close to it.
But Berkman is to the point where he wants to find out if he can play or if it is time to walk away from the game. The only way to find out is on a rehab assignment.
"I'm still not sure if I could be a good enough player to go out and help this team," Berkman said. "It's still up in the air. But it's about time to get to the point to see if I can. It's not going to get much better sitting around on the disabled list."
Berkman, who has been taking batting practice regularly, is sidelined with inflammation in his left hip and back. He is also dealing with a chronic sore right knee. As a switch-hitter, Berkman feels the inflammation when he swings from the right side, while the knee has impaired his ability to swing from the left side.
Berkman was hitting .254 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in 68 games and 244 at-bats before he went on the disabled list. He had a .355 on-base percentage and a .377 slugging percentage.
"I will be able to play; how effective I am remains to be seen," Berkman said. "That part is what's up in the air. I'm not sure what level I will play at. I wasn't happy with the level I was out before I got hurt. I don't think this is going to help."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less