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Allen Craig Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Slugger Could Return Vs. Pirates

Allen Craig injury watch could soon be a thing of the past: currently in the midst of a rehab stint with the AAA Memphis Redbirds, Craig is, according to a report from Jenifer Langosch, nearly ready to return to the St. Louis Cardinals' 25-man roster, and could be activated before their mid-week series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Craig had four hits in 11 at-bats with a home run in high-A Palm Beach, and he's gone 3-13 since joining Memphis, where he made his defensive debut as a first baseman on Sunday. Of course, the more important numbers came before his knee injury; in 2011, his breakout season, he hit .315/.362/.555 in 75 games while playing at every outfield position, first and third base, and even some time at the keystone.

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Shane Robinson and Erik Komatsu are on the 25-man roster bubble, while Matt Carpenter's playing time is likely to dry up as Craig takes his place as Lance Berkman's caddy at first base. When Berkman returns Craig will have to find his playing time between off-days for him, Carlos Beltran, and Matt Holliday unless Mike Matheny gives him another shot at third base.