JUPITER, Fla. – Outfielder Allen Craig reached the next step in his rehab process Thursday, taking batting practice on the field for the first time.
Craig, who is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a fractured kneecap, took part in a full round of batting practice on Field No. 1. He had been limited to tee and soft toss work in the batting cage in recent weeks.
“It felt great,” Craig said. “I’ve been excited about it for a while, getting back on the field and actually hitting some balls coming at me. It was fun to get out there and hit.
“I feel good. I trust myself with my hitting. I still have a little ways to go with ironing out some things, but I feel good. No problems at all. I feel good.”
Teammates jokingly clapped and cheered for Craig as he walked onto the field. He responded by tipping his cap.
Craig hit one home run and several hard line drives during his session. He also shagged balls in the outfield and moved well to cut off a drive hit to his left.
“Today was the first day and I’ll probably come back tomorrow and see how I feel and see how we want to go forward,” Craig said. “But obviously a good step that I came through it fine with no problem.”
Craig has yet to be cleared for side-to-side running or agility drills and has been limited to straight-line running. Asked when he may ramp up that part of his rehab, Craig said, “Soon I would think. It’s coming soon.”