Lance Berkman has a timetable

Lance BerkmanBarring a setback, Lance Berkman's return to the Cardinals is within hailing distance. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells Tim McKernan that Berkman is angling to return shortly after the All-Star break and doesn't think he'll need to go on a minor-league rehab assignment.

The 36-year-old Berkman is hitting .333/.429/.571 on the season, but he hasn't played since May 19. On May 25, he underwent surgery to repair the meniscus of his right knee.

Once Berkman does return, Cards manager Mike Matheny will be tasked with working him into a lineup that already has the hot-hitting Allen Craig seeing regular time at Berkman's position.

There are, of course, worse problems to have.

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