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Rangers' Berkman unsure if he'll retire, return

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The chances of Lance Berkman returning to the Rangers lineup anytime soon -- or perhaps ever -- dimmed a little more this week.

After taking nearly a week off to rest his inflamed hip, Berkman's attempted return to baseball activities did not go well Tuesday. He planned to do a little light running and take batting practice on the field. After he had trouble running, the Rangers decided not to have him hit, either.

"I don't have any concerns that at some point I'd be able to get out there," Berkman said before the workout while wearing a heavy heat wrap on his hip. "How effective I'll be, that I don't know. These guys invested in me, and I'd like to give them some return. But it's getting down to the point where it is fish or cut bait. I don't want this to linger."

Berkman, 36, has been on the DL since July 7 and last week was shut down from baseball activities to give the hip more time to rest.

Beyond the hip issue, Berkman is struggling to find a way to hit for power with a knee that no longer will give him the power base he once had. He said his right knee is not painful, but it simply isn't getting enough extension to deliver the kind of torque he once had.

"If I can't generate bat speed and power, it's going to limit what I can do," Berkman said. "Mentally, I still feel like I did when I was 25, but physically I'm not the same person. You have to come to grips with that at some point."

Berkman said he and general manager Jon Daniels have talked about the future, but there have been no determinations. His future could be impacted by the fact that the Rangers didn't acquire a bat to replace him at designated hitter before Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline.

"We've talked and (Daniels) knows what I'm thinking," Berkman said. "It has been full disclosure. I know the team's situation. My primary concern right now is to do what is best for the team."

A.J. Pierzynski served as the Rangers' DH on Wednesday, and he went 0-for-3 in Texas' 2-1 win over the Angels.

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