I assume those who regularly watch streamed MLB TV games have noticed Joey Votto's base running since his return to the lineup from the disabled list.

His hitting seems to be as good as ever. His skeletal and muscular flexibility and fielding at first base haven't really been tested yet. However, on the base paths, Votto clearly is favoring his injured knee. When he reaches base, he places a supporting brace on the knee just to run. He can't round a base at full speed -- he has to slow down to turn his entire body. He then adjusts his stride noticeably to avoid pivoting on that knee during the left turns around each bag.

This is a sure sign that the meniscus tear is only partially healed and still painful. I'll bet it throbs long after the end of each game. I had this very same knee injury -- and arthroscopic surgery -- a few years ago, near the end of my career as a photojournalist and commerical photographer (Like baseball catchers, photojournalists spend a lot of time bending, stooping and kneeling). My menicus tore left a dangling flap that had to be cut away. My surgery also revealed that my cartilige was just shredded from overuse of the knees.

Believe me, after meniscus surgery, it takes months to trust that the knee won't just collapse when you pivot, and if you stretch it too much, it really could be reinjured. Now, long after recovery, my own right knee still throbs at the end of a long day, and every once in awhile, it still feels as if it could collapse if I flex it too much with quick lateral movements. Of course, I injured my knee when I was much older than Joey, and I'm no athlete in good shape. So, my recovery was more challenging.

But Votto's injury seems to be very similar to the meniscus tear that ultimately ended Chris Weber's basketball career here in Sacramento. It was painful just watching Weber attempt a comeback. Of course, basketball requires far more pivoting movements that stress the knee than baseball. But after watching Weber and Votto move, I remain concerned about Votto's long-term recovery.