Lance Berkman strained an oblique muscle on his left side while hitting left-handed during the first full-squad workout. Brandon Backe will likely be sidelined for a couple of days after he was hit on the right foot by a batted ball while throwing batting practice on Saturday.Hearing that Back and Berkman were both hurt is scary, but luckily it's not Backe's arm, or Berkman's surgically repaired knee. So no real worries here.
X-rays on Backe's foot, taken early Sunday morning by team doctor Tom Mehlhoff, were negative. The club is categorizing the injury as a bone bruise. The right-hander will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Berkman joked that he's somewhat pleased that he can use the injury excuse in order to get out of working too hard this spring.
"Hopefully, I can milk it for at least another week and a half," he quipped. "Hopefully, I can use it for an excuse for underperformance. I was a little disappointed last year, not the fact that I hit .278, but that I couldn't come up with an injury to justify it."