(BaseballStL) -- The return of Allen Craig won't come any time in September, and may not come until late October, if at all.
Speaking before Friday's game with the Cubs, GM John Mozeliak said after review, medical staff had recommended Craig continue to rest his sprained foot.
"As optimistic as we were when it first happened, the reality is we have to take a very conservative approach," he said.
Craig was evaluated Thursday, and is said to be dealing with a Lisfranc injury.
While there has been no setback or changes in his recovery, as more about the injury became known, the organization decided not to risk any further damage.
"To try to rush him back or push him to get back I think is going to put him in peril," Mozeliak said.
Barring an unprecedented turnaround in the next few days, Craig has been ruled out for the first playoff series. Even beyond that, an appearance in late October is optimistic, according to the GM.
"He's feeling good. I think that's what is kind of frustrating him a little bit, because he feels like he can push himself," he said. "But medically, the doctors don't think that's a smart move."
A Lisfranc injury deals with the midfoot and can often linger for a month to six weeks. The risk comes from attempting to push the foot without it being ready, and that can lead to long term damage.
Because of this long term risk, Mozeliak said the cards will be extremely conservative with their RBI leader.
"Severity could be from a career issue to definitely a large part of next season out," he said.
Initial reactions presented the possibility of a late-season return; something born of optimism and unfamiliarity with the injury.
"Frankly in the baseball world, we don't deal with it that much," he said. "We're going to continue to do our research and if there's other people with more experience with this to get their take."
Staff members have reached out to NFL medical professionals who have more familiarity with the injury.
In the interim, Craig will continue to keep a walking boot on, and proceed with his treatment. While he can still throw and hit off a tee, any impact workouts are still minimal to non-existent.