Because Lance has already hurt himself.
He was held out of today's practice with a left knee contusion from running the bases on Sunday, something that has held over through the off-season. Berkman:
“I guess I twisted it wrong or did something when we were running the bases. Anybody who has played for any length of time and you get to be over 30, you're going to have aches and pains. Every once in a while working out, my knee didn't feel great, but it never swelled. I didn't have any idea that there was a problem at all. It was never debilitating in the stuff I was doing in the offseason. I felt a twinge every once in a while but my joints hurt from time to time all over the place. It was nothing that was out of the ordinary. This is the first time it's swollen like that, and that's an indication that's more than the standard ache or pain.”
Berkman had an MRI, and team physician Dr. David Lintner will be reviewing the results today.
McTaggart said that Mills will wait before filling out his lineup for Thursday's Spring opener vs. Washington:
"If I was leaning toward one way or another, he wouldn't be in the lineup."
This is interesting. Because Berkman has had knee problems, requiring surgery in 2004 and 2006, but those were on his right knee. Keep in mind that Berkman's Grade II calf strain was also on his left leg. Whether that's a holdover injury, I don't know. I was a history major. But Will Carroll would know, and he's not so rah-rah, no matter how minor Berkman says it is:
Big worries about Berkman's knee. "Bruise" with no trauma indicates arthritic problems inside knee.
This is not a good sign. Virtually the first time the Astros are running the bases, and Berkman has swelling in his knee without really knowing what happened. Like everyone else, we'll have to wait and see. But go ahead and use that expletive...now.