Injured Lance Berkman didn't sound optimistic Saturday of a return to the St. Louis Cardinals' active list, either for the remainder of the regular season or the postseason.

Berkman, 36, is recovering from Sept. 11 surgery on his right knee. He is hitting every other day, or as the knee allows.

"The problem is, you don't have a 40-man roster when you go to the playoffs," Berkman said. "If you can't run, then you're severely handicapping your team.

"You're basically saying that I would be on the roster to come off the bench and hit a homer if we needed it in some desperate situation. The reality of that, after not having played an entire season, is not great."

Berkman's best chance to be on the roster would be for a potential wild-card playoff game Friday in Atlanta. The Cardinals wouldn't need a full pitching staff for that game.

"Yeah, you could do that," Berkman said. "You could keep some of the starting pitchers off there and go with a guy. But again, you're looking for a miracle. If it comes down to that, we're in trouble."