JUPITER, Fla. -- For the first time since last October, Allen Craig donned a Cardinals uniform and ran.
The seemingly simple act was actually quite notable, as the sight of Craig joining his teammates on the field for Monday's workout was a tangible step forward in his rehab from knee surgery.
Last week, Craig was cleared to begin some light throwing. On Monday, he was given the green light to do more. That included lunges, on-field stretches and more long toss. He extended himself off to a throwing distance of 90 feet this time.
At the end of it all was a jog, marking the first time the training staff had allowed Craig to test his legs in such a way.
"I don't think I stood out like a sore thumb. I think I fit in," said Craig, noting that he held pace with everyone else. "It felt great. Today was definitely a real good day."
Craig, who has had no setbacks in his quicker-than-anticipated recovery, will be evaluated again on Tuesday before the club decides whether or not he can continue to be on the field for at least part of the day's scheduled workouts. Craig has still not been cleared to swing a bat, and no one will speculate whether the outfielder still has a chance at being ready for Opening Day.
"He was trying to stay positive, but he was just feeling like he should have been doing something else," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think it's a great encouragement to him that he's got to the point where he's progressed ... and put the uniform on."