Lance Berkman has torn calf, likely out until Tuesday

Lance BerkmanCards first baseman Lance Berkman is likely to miss at least the next few days because of a left-leg strain, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Berkman sustained the injury during one of his rare triples on Tuesday and wasn't in the lineup the following day. Goold also tweets that an MRI revealed a minor tear of his calf muscle and that a Tuesday return is a reasonable expectation.

"If it gets any worse, then it becomes an issue," said Berkman. "We'll have to wait and see how it responds."

Goold points out that Berkman suffered a similar injury back in 2009 and was forced to go on the disabled list.

Under normal circumstances, super-sub Allen Craig would fill in for Berkman at first base, but Craig is on the DL after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Craig should be activated soon, however.

That means rookie Matt Carpenter will man first while Berkman is out. While he's no Berkman at the plate, the lefty-swinging Carpenter should benefit from facing right-handers in the first two games of upcoming Cubs series. On Sunday, however, lefty Paul Maholm starts for the opposition.

As for Berkman, he was off to a hot start in 2012 (.375/.565/.625), but this is the kind of injury that can linger, particularly in a 36-year-old.

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CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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