Allen Craig could return from the disabled list in a week

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When outfielder Allen Craig jammed his left foot on the first base bag in his first game since being traded to the Red Sox, there was some speculation that he might be shut down for the remainder of the 2014 season. Craig suffered a left Lisfranc fracture in late 2013 and hasn’t been right since, so calling it quits and aiming for a fresh start in 2015 would make sense. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the plan.

According to beat writer Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Craig “got positive news from foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Friday and could come off the disabled list when eligible this month.”

The first day Craig is eligible to be activated is August 17 — next Sunday.

“We’re taking every step to ramp up his baseball activities and get him back on the field as soon as possible,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters this weekend in Anaheim. “The Lisfranc injury, that was still seen in the MRI that was done. But don’t feel that there were any chronic changes to what was viewed last year. Our approach is to get him playing and we’ll see if there’s adverse effect to more aggressive play.”

Craig was one of the most productive hitters in the National League from 2011-2013, batting .312/.364/.500 with 46 home runs and 229 RBI in 328 games for St. Louis. This year, he’s hit .237/.291/.348 in 98 games.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.