Lance Berkman suffered a knee injury on a routine play in the Cardinals’ game Saturday night in Los Angeles. (Danny Moloshok / AP)

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman will undergo surgery later this week and will learn then the extent of the damage to his right knee.

An MRI showed that Berkman, whose leg buckled Saturday night when he stretched to get a routine throw at first, has torn meniscus and cartilage that will be repaired arthroscopically Friday. At that point doctors will know whether he also has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which would require reconstruction.

“All the information I'm getting plus what I felt leads me to believe there is an issue with the ACL,” Berkman, who has had four knee operations, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I'm hoping that's not the case, but I'm not sure that's the case.”

Berkman collapsed in the second inning and had to be helped off the field. “I'm not as optimistic because — I stretch for a ball, obviously there's something that's not right. It's just a routine play. That should not happen,” Berkman said. “It leads me to believe there is joint instability that needs to be addressed.”

Berkman, 36, will be examined at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., and will learn Friday whether he will require a second ACL replacement. After that, he’ll consider his future in the game.

“In my heart, this is exactly what I thought they would find at a minimum,” Berkman said. “I'm not putting the cart before the horse. I'm going to defer to [the specialists'] wisdom. It would be premature to write or report there's a problem with the ACL until we know for sure. The question is — is it stable enough to do what you need it to do or not?”

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