Schumaker, Craig inch toward returns

Schumaker, Craig inch toward returns

Schumaker, Craig inch toward returns
MIAMI -- While the Cardinals were scheduled to fly to Milwaukee following a 4-1 win on Wednesday, Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig had a different destination on their itinerary. Both were ticketed to return to the organization's Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla., where they will continue their rehabilitation work in hopes of rejoining the big league club later this month.

Before separating, Schumaker (right oblique strain) and Craig (right knee surgery) joined their teammates on the field at Marlins Park on Wednesday to participate in some pregame work. For the first time since his injury, Schumaker was cleared to take part in some defensive drills.

"So far, no setbacks," Schumaker said on Wednesday. "But I haven't taken any live swings against pitchers. You can swing nice and easy in the cage, but you find out where it's at when you play."

A rehab assignment doesn't appear to be too far away for either player. Both intend to be in St. Louis for the team's home opener on April 13, but both also said there is a chance they could begin their respective Minor League assignments before then. The Cardinals also have the option of putting either player into extended spring camp.

"I'm still trying to get that last bit of strength in there before starting games," Craig said. "I want to make sure I'm feeling good. As far as the hitting goes, I don't think it's going to take me a lot of time to get ready in a rehab [assignment]. I think it's just going to depend on how long they want me to play in games to get my legs under me. That will be up to them."

While Craig is particularly interested in seeing how his leg feels after playing the field in a game, Schumaker is mostly concerned with getting at-bats. He logged just 21 in Grapefruit League play before getting hurt.

"I don't want to come back and be bad," Schumaker said. "I want to help this team win. If I'm not ready, it's not going to help us."