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Red Sox optimistic Craig will be back this year

ST. LOUIS (AP) The Boston Red Sox are optimistic Allen Craig, who was hurt in his first game with the team, will be back this season.

General manager Ben Cherington said Wednesday it's likely Craig, on the 15-day disabled list with a left foot sprain, will visit with specialist Dr. James Andrews at the end of the week for a second opinion. Cherington said Craig believed the injury was not serious and added there's been no talk about shutting things down for the year.

''We're not at that point by any means,'' Cherington said. ''He feels good. I mean, he doesn't feel like he's that far away from playing.''

The 30-year-old Craig had a similar injury last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He missed the final month of the season and most of the postseason.

Cherington said the Red Sox had no concerns about Craig's medical history when they made the deal last week to get him from St. Louis. He said there are no long-term concerns, either, but said the team is taking a conservative approach with a new player.

''Because of what he went through last year, we're trying to be extra cautious,'' Cherington said Wednesday. ''We want to make sure we get it right.''

Craig was injured stepping off the first base bag running out a double-play ball on Friday night.

None of the parties involved believe Craig's injury last season carried over to his woes in 2014. Craig batted a major league-leading .454 with runners in scoring position last year and hit .315 overall with 13 homers and 97 RBIs.

''No red flags in the long term,'' Cherington said. ''We had access to everything and obviously he's had some stuff.''

This year, he batted .237 with seven homers and 44 RBIs in 99 games with St. Louis. He was 1 for 4 with a double in his lone game with the Red Sox.

The day after the trade for John Lackey, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said ''as far as I know'' the foot was not an issue with Craig this season.

''It was just something that wasn't working and it wasn't for a lack of trying,'' Mozeliak said. ''I can tell you that.''

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