Don't count out Lance Berkman just yet.

Barely a week removed from what was described as season-ending surgery on his right knee, the Cardinals outfielder said Wednesday he's holding out hope that he can return before the season ends.

Berkman had surgery on Sept. 11 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the same knee he had surgery on in May. The switch-hitter has played just 31 games this season.

"I'm not ruling out a return by the end of the regular season the way it feels, but I'm not ruling it in either," Berkman said. "I'm hopeful that if I can get this swelling calmed down from the surgery, if I can get a little strength back in there and if I can get back in the batting cage and see how it feels, and all of these are big ifs, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility."