Cardinals manager Mike Matheny got a call from Houston about mid-day today. He expected the caller to be a little punchy after anesthesia, but Matheny heard first baseman Lance Berkman loud and clear.

Berkman, after having meniscus and cartilage tears repaired in his right knee, told Matheny, "Yeah, I'm going to be back."

The Cardinals announced that Berkman was likely to be out eight to 10 weeks worth of rehabilitation and recovery, but that was better than the alternative. Berkman had feared there would be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament but none was found, according to Matheny.

"I think he was surprised," said Matheny. "He thought it probably was worse. I was interested to hear from him that soon. I thought he would still be medicated.

"But it was great to hear his voice and hear that excitement. He's thinking about counting down the days until he's back."

General manager John Mozeliak said he was pleased but not surprised with the findings.