Allen Craig

John Farrell: Surgery not ruled out for Allen Craig's foot

August 21, 2014 - 1:35 pm
Allen Craig was supposed to be getting his at-bats in Pawtucket Thursday night. However, injuries and other circumstances have opened up a need. So instead, he'll be the designated hitter in his second-career game with the Red Sox. Craig, who was acquired by the Red Sox from the Cardinals for John Lackey, injured his ankle Aug. 1 in his Red Sox debut, and hasn't played since. The outfielder was scheduled to rehab in Pawtucket at DH Monday and play right field Wednesday and Thursday, but with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli battling injuries and David Ortiz on a scheduled off day, Red Sox manager John Farrell said it would be just as valuable to give Craig those at-bats with the major league club. Craig played right field and went 1-for-3 with a two-run single for Pawtucket Wednesday night. Farrell said Craig played with "no hesitations" over his two games with the Triple-A club. "Went first to second on a base hit and overthrow after a couple RBIs, wasn't too challenged in right field with many opportunities, but came out of it physically fine with some change in direction to his running and some acceleration to what would be full speed," Farrell said. "So he's passed at least two days of the physical test." That, at least, is the case with the ankle injury that Craig suffered in his Red Sox debut on Aug. 1, when he tweaked his foot while crossing first base. Still, questions remain about another injury with his foot. Craig suffered a Lisfranc injury last September that ended his 2013 regular season and kept him out for the early part of the Cardinals' World Series run. St. Louis and Craig opted to let the injury heal naturally with rest rather than surgery.

"We do know this: the injury he had last year was something that was given rest and recovery rather than a repair, probably as much to do with their stretch and postseason run. I guess it's debatable whether a repair was needed or recommended, but they chose a conservative path," said Farrell. "I can't say, 'Is there still some involvement?' That is above me. He turned the ankle and foot here on the base, so what he was feeling wasn't a result of the actual previous injury. But does the previous injury still give some instability? That's, again, debatable."

When asked whether or not the Red Sox will consider having the foot surgically repaired in the offseason, Farrell said, "I think it depends on how he responds to the consistent play over the rest of the schedule."

Craig seemed surprised by the suggestion that he might require surgery. "This is the first time I've heard of it," Craig said about the possibility of an offseason procedure. Craig said that there was never a conversation when he incurred the injury about whether to fix the Lisfranc issue with rest or surgery. "Clearly a rehab," Craig said of the diagnosis at the time. Asked if he still believed that was the appropriate course, Craig affirmed that he did. Craig has made clear, as recently as Monday in Pawtucket, that he felt that the recent foot injury was unrelated to his Lisfranc injury, while also stating that the recent issue paled in comparison to the one that impacted him last year. "It's not even close to what it was last year," Craig said. "It's just something I tweaked a little bit unfortunately in that game, and we wanted to take it slow and make sure things are good and just trying to get back into it now." Alex Speier contributed to this report.