Craig devoting time to strength training

Craig devoting time to strength training

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though he still has every intention of being ready to play on Opening Day, Allen Craig has not yet resumed any on-field baseball activities. That's not to suggest, though, that there has been any sort of delay or setback in his recovery from November knee surgery.

Craig's days are split primarily between the training room and the weight room. While his legs likely could handle light running, fielding drills or swings in the batting cage, the Cardinals would prefer that Craig first focus all his attention on improving his leg strength. Running is expected to be added to his program soon, and eventually baseball activities will, as well.

Craig and the Cardinals have not attached a projected date to any of these benchmarks, preferring, instead, to let feeling dictate how quickly the rehab program progresses.

"It's just one of those things where you only have a certain amount of energy in a day, and right now the focus is on the weight room," Craig said. "It's not that I can't go out and take swings in the cage right now. It's just not worth doing that and taking away from something else. Right now the focus is getting the strength."

With more than six weeks remaining until Opening Day, it is too early to definitively know whether it will be necessary for Craig to spend any time on the disabled list. That determination will largely hinge on how many at-bats he is able to get in Grapefruit League play.

"We're just taking it a day at a time and a week at a time to see how I respond and how I come back," said Craig, who is a candidate to be the team's everyday right fielder. "I'm making some good strides in the weight room. Things are getting easier. I wouldn't be surprised if running and agility is in the near future."

At the time of the knee procedure, it was estimated that Craig would be sidelined for four-to-six months. He is currently three months removed from the surgery.