By the Associated Press
--Circling the bases for the first time in more than two months, Mark McGwire found out just how badly his knee still hurts.
"My knee is really bad," McGwire said after hitting his first home run since July 1. "Every time I put all my weight on it by running, it bites and it feels like it's going to tear."
McGwire, activated off the disabled list Friday, hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the St. Louis Cardinals' 8-4 victory Monday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He had been out with tendinitis in his right knee.
McGwire has been listed on the Cardinals' lineup card as a second baseman the last four games - and has left each time after batting in the top of the first.
On the road, McGwire can bat once and sit. In home games, manager Tony La Russa will save him for critical pinch-hitting situations.
"I'm not going to be able to play in the field the rest of the year," McGwire said.
The homer made McGwire feel like he's part of the team again.
"I don't like to contribute vocally, I like to contribute with my bat," he said. "I'm just doing what I can right now and I'm happy to be back in any capacity."
Photo courtesy of StLouisCardinals.com