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Allen Craig (knee surgery) aiming to play in game by May

Mar 11, 2012, 11:16 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig told reporters when he arrived at spring training in Jupiter, Florida last month that he was hoping to be ready for Opening Day. But that never seemed very realistic.

Craig, who underwent surgery in November to repair a small fracture in his right kneecap, acknowledged Sunday to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest that he’s now resigned to the fact that he’s not going to be available at the start of the regular season and has shifted his focus toward being back by May 1.

The 27-year-old outfielder batted .315 with a .917 OPS, 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 219 plate appearances last season for the Cardinals before slugging four home runs and collecting eight crucial RBI in 37 postseason at-bats. He’s likely to see a lot of action in right field this year in St. Louis with Carlos Beltran or Jon Jay patrolling center.

  1. fearlessleader - Mar 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Whether or not the timetable proves accurate, it was good to hear Allen sounding optimistic yesterday. Not only is his bat going to be key to the Cards’ offense this year, but he needs to be mobile in order to chase Torty around.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Mar 11, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I like Craig, always seems to come up big when called upon – he’s quite a weapon when healthy.

    With so many vets who need backup, (Beltran, Puma and Holliday come to mind) the depth and production AC provides is essential to the Cards making a run.

    Dude’s versatile and can flat out rake.

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