Berkman not in lineup due to sore right knee
DH slips coming off team plane; Andrus fills spot, with Profar at short
ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman was out of Friday's Rangers lineup with a sore right knee after he slipped coming off the team plane Thursday.
Berkman said his left foot came out from underneath him as he was walking down the stairs to exit the plane. He said he twisted his right knee as his heel reached to the back of his leg. Berkman said he wore slick-bottomed shoes and there was a possibility the stairs were wet as well.
"Before I knew it, I was on my back kind of like a hurdler's stretch," Berkman said. "That's how I ended up. Thank goodness I had ahold of the hand rail or else I might've broken my neck, because I could've tumbled down the stairs."
Rangers manager Ron Washington didn't want to take a chance and sat Berkman, though Washington felt the veteran left-handed hitter could've played through the injury. Elvis Andrus was the designated hitter and Jurickson Profar started at shortstop.
"It's not an injury, but it definitely rearranged some scar tissues and cartilage and reacted negatively," Berkman said.
The Rangers were stuck in traffic for two hours after Thursday's game in New York and also dealt with a two-hour flight delay. Berkman said the team bus left for the airport at 4:30 p.m. ET and the plane didn't land until midnight CT.
"That was a bad travel day, period," Berkman said. "That's like nine hours and we gained an hour. We could've gone to Europe."
In other odd injury news, Washington said Jeff Baker will probably be sent on a rehab assignment whenever his right thumb heals. Baker was eligible to return off the disabled list after injuring the thumb on a celebratory high-five, but Washington said he's not ready.
"It's getting better, but it's not there yet," Washington said. "It could be any day. Today was the day he could've come off."