Allen Craig close to beginning rehab assignment

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Lance Berkman is on the disabled list with a partially torn calf and Jon Jay exited today’s game with a shoulder injury, but at least one Cardinals hitter has some positive health news.

Allen Craig has progressed enough from offseason knee surgery that he could be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, according to general manager John Mozeliak.

That would start the 20-day clock for his return ticking, although that could be restarted if he suffered any kind of a setback along the way. Craig has been participating in extended spring training games, but only as a hitter.