Berkman’s knee sore after banging it exiting airplane

ARLINGTON, Texas – Lance Berkman was out of the starting lineup for a second-consecutive day for the Texas Rangers.

Berkman, who didn’t start Thursday’s series finale in New York, would have likely played in Friday’s game if things had gone different following the team’s plane ride home Thursday night.

Berkman, who has been slowed by a balky right knee and recently had a cortisone shot, banged the knee getting off the plane and it was sore enough Friday that he didn’t start.

“It was wet and the shoes I was wearing kind of had a slick bottom,” Berkman said. “I ended up in a hurdler’s pose. I woke up and it was really sore.”

Texas manager Ron Washington said Berkman – who is a .276 lifetime hitter vs. Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto with a pair of homers – would be available to pinch hit. Berkman has now started just two of the last eight games and is hitting just .198 over the last 25 games.

“It’s probably something he could play through but we don’t need to take that chance,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.