ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig has moved into the final phase of his rehab process by joining high Class A Palm Beach on Saturday to begin his Minor League rehab assignment.
Craig, who is recovering from offseason right knee surgery, played in the first game of Palm Beach's doubleheader and connected for a solo homer in his first at-bat. He drew a walk in his next plate appearance and then struck out and grounded out in his final two. He served as the club's designated hitter in the game.
Craig will continue to DH for a few more games before he makes a start in the field. His rehab stint can last a maximum of 20 days, meaning that the Cardinals will get Craig back no later than the second week of May. Craig likely won't need the full length of the assignment, though manager Mike Matheny avoided projecting how much earlier Craig could be ready.
"It's hard to put a time frame on that," Matheny said. "We were talking about having him Opening Day, so I've kind of given up on the time frame thing."