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Craig cleared to increase baseball activity

ST. LOUIS -- During a visit to foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig received clearance to increase his baseball activity. That consent keeps open the possibility of Craig being ready to join the Cards' roster should the team advance past the Dodgers and into the World Series.

Craig, who suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot on Sept. 4, sought out Anderson's opinion after getting positive feedback from the Cardinals' medical staff. Doctors had estimated a recovery period of four to six weeks, which all along had Craig hopeful that he would be able to return before season's end.

Now that there is no concern about reaggravating the injury, Craig simply has to battle time.

"That's kind of where we're at right now that we have to ramp it up and see what we've got," Craig said on Friday. "Hopefully the timing will be good. I could feel it getting better. I'm at the point where I want to see what I can do."

Even while wearing a soft walking boot, Craig has been hitting off a tee for a few weeks now. He anticipates taking actual batting practice soon to further test the timing of his swing. He resumed playing catch on Friday.

The Cardinals are not as eager to push Craig to run, though he's expected to start some mobility work in the next couple of days. He did do some running in the pool on Friday to prevent too much pounding. Having Craig participate in defensive drills is also not a priority -- the Cards could avoid sending Craig into the field altogether in the World Series by using him as a designated hitter and pinch-hitter.

"We still have to be smart about it," general manager John Mozeliak said. "But the doctor feels he's in a pretty good place and is past that stage where he could [make it worse]. If we can get his bat back, that would be how we think about it."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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