Craig continues to progress
JUPITER, Fla. - Rehabbing outfielder Allen Craig continues to make progress from offseason knee surgery but concedes he probably won't be ready for Opening Day.
Craig, who won't officially rule out hope of an Opening Day return, has been taking swings off a tee and soft toss in the batting cage for a couple weeks.
"I wouldn't say anything is out the window," Craig said. "I'm trying to stay positive and my original goal was Opening Day and I'm going to stick to that. Obviously I'm not going to make any guarantees but I think it's a realistic goal that I'm back before May 1.
"Obviously you don't like to make guarantees with everything, but with the rate I'm on now and the path I'm on, I feel really good and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm back before May 1."
Craig is hitting every other day as he ramps up his conditioning and running on the field. He will need to get agility and lateral movements cleared 100 percent before he moves to the field for hitting and fielding drills.
The outfielder has intensified his running in recent days but still has yet to get full clearance. He said hitting is, "not really a problem right now. It's more just getting comfortable running and doing cuts and agilities and stuff like that."
Craig hit three home runs in the World Series and robbed a home run in the Game 7 victory over the Texas Rangers. He had surgery in November to repair a fractured kneecap.
"My goal has always been to be back sooner than they expected me," Craig said. "I understand how it goes with setting a longer timetable to make sure if it goes longer than you are covered, but that's been my goal, to be back sooner than May 1.