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Craig unlikely to play at start of NL playoffs

Cardinals first baseman still dealing with Lisfranc injury to his left foot

ST. LOUIS -- After X-rays and a re-evaluation on Thursday, the Cardinals are listing Allen Craig as doubtful for the National League Division Series, should the club clinch the NL Central title this weekend.

General manager John Mozeliak announced on Friday that although Craig is progressing well from what Mozeliak specified is a Lisfranc injury of his left foot, he would be "shocked" if Craig was cleared in time to play in the NLDS. If Craig were to rush back from his foot injury, it could have significant long-term or career implications.

"The smart thing to do is just to continue going with this conservative approach," Mozeliak said. "Do we have some optimism if we play deep into October [that] he can still be available? The answer is yes, but as far as the short-term look, no."

"Obviously, it's a difficult spot and I have to take it conservatively," Craig said. "It's frustrating all around, but I'm going to stay positive and be the best teammate I can, and focus every day on getting back for some playoff games. You never know what opportunity is going to come up. Hopefully, I'll be back sooner rather than later. Now is just not the time."

Mozeliak said the initial timetable of one month to six weeks from the Sept. 4 injury is still consistent with Craig's progress. Craig is still wearing a soft walking boot, and his baseball-related activities are limited to throwing and hitting off a tee.

With Craig sidelined, the Cardinals are missing his Major League-leading .454 average with runners in scoring position. Even though he hasn't played in more than three weeks, Craig leads the team with 97 RBIs.

"It's pretty devastating not to be able to finish the season with the team, but it's been fun watching them win a lot of games and get in the playoffs," Craig said. "I just hope that I can be a part of it at some point before the season is over."

In the interim, Matt Adams has filled in admirably, batting .338 with eight home runs and 15 RBIs since Craig went down. His eight home runs in September rank third in the Majors.

"We have a great team, and Matt has done a great job filling in at first base. That has been really fun to watch," Craig said. "That's why they call it a team sport. We have a lot of great players on the team and will hopefully make a deep run into the playoffs to give me a chance to play at some point."

Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for
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