ARLINGTON — Lance Berkman remains sidelined after slipping down the airplane stairs and banging his surgically repaired right knee late Thursday night.Berkman, 37, was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game Sunday, and said he likely wouldn’t be available to pinch hit. In fact, he hasn’t done any baseball activities since the injury, but doesn’t believe it will require a stint on the disabled list.“I don’t think so,” said Berkman, who has played in only two of the past 10 games. “I twisted my knee. It doesn’t tolerate trauma very well. I’ve had four surgeries on that knee, so yeah, it hurts.“At this point, I’m used to dealing with aches and pains so it’s not something I’m too concerned about.”It’s a fluky injury, something that Berkman has dealt with in the past. He tore his ACL after the 2004 season while playing defensive back in a flag football game.Berkman has struggled at the plate the past month, batting .198 over his last 25 games as his average has dropped from .309 to .263.Good to goTanner Scheppers had pitched in five of the past seven days, and simply asked for a day off Saturday. He then struggled in his appearance Sunday, facing three batters and not recording an out.Scheppers walked the first batter he faced, Zack Cozart, on four pitches, and then gave up singles to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. He started an at-bat against Jay Bruce with two balls before manager Ron Washington pulled him.“I just didn’t have it,” said Scheppers, who was charged with two runs in his first multi-run outing this season. “Poor command of everything. Just one of those days.”Scheppers said there are no physical concerns with him at this point despite his heavy workload. He has appeared in 39 games, among the most by American League relievers, and pitched in 15 games in June.Scheppers has pitched well, posting a 1.55 ERA and Washington said he believes Scheppers deserves All-Star consideration. Washington also praised Scheppers for being upfront with how his arm felt prior to Saturday’s game when he asked off.“It not only helps him, it helps us too,” Washington said. “I certainly don’t want him to battle through something and it ends up costing us time with him. I’d rather just give him the time down if that’s what he says he needs. I don’t want him to feel embarrassed about it.“You don’t know how tough it is in this business to get honesty out of one of your baseball players. It’s refreshing when one of your guys is honest with you. You preach that to them all the time because something little can turn into something huge.”Lewis optimisticColby Lewis expects to pitch this season, and is feeling good after two productive bullpen sessions. Lewis threw about 40 pitches in another session Sunday, and is hoping to return in late July which would be around the one-year mark since he underwent right flexor tendon surgery.“It’s getting there,” said Lewis, who will throw another bullpen Tuesday. “The last two bullpens have assured me that [I’ll be back]. I thought I’d be back earlier, but I’ll be back for the push.”Lewis made three rehab appearances in May, but was shut down after experiencing tendinitis in his right elbow. It was a frustrating setback, but Lewis is in better spirits now.In other injury news, Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) is getting closer to a rehab assignment. He threw a 55-60 pitch bullpen session Sunday, saying he felt good afterward.Ogando is scheduled to throw live batting practice Wednesday, and then could be cleared for a rehab start.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison