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Allen Craig (knee surgery) aiming to play in game by May

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Allen Craig #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals rounds the bases and is congratulated by third base coach Jose Oquendo after hitting a solo home run in the third inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig told reporters when he arrived at spring training in Jupiter, Florida last month that he was hoping to be ready for Opening Day. But that never seemed very realistic.

Craig, who underwent surgery in November to repair a small fracture in his right kneecap, acknowledged Sunday to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest that he’s now resigned to the fact that he’s not going to be available at the start of the regular season and has shifted his focus toward being back by May 1.

The 27-year-old outfielder batted .315 with a .917 OPS, 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 219 plate appearances last season for the Cardinals before slugging four home runs and collecting eight crucial RBI in 37 postseason at-bats. He’s likely to see a lot of action in right field this year in St. Louis with Carlos Beltran or Jon Jay patrolling center.