The Baltimore Orioles recently recieved good news about J.J. Hardy‘s back and they’re now confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Earlier this week, the Baltimore Orioles assumed the worst when J.J. Hardy revealed he was dealing with back discomfort. But after undergoing testing, Hardy’s MRI and CT results left the club feeling optimistic.
Hardy’s MRI and CT scan came back negative, and a bone scan revealed no structural damage. However, the bone scan did reveal inflammation.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is so pleased, that he believes Hardy can get into a Spring Training game by March 10th. Showalter also believes that Hardy will be ready for Opening Day if all goes well.
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"“You can tell just being around him he’s pretty upbeat about it,” Showalter said. “I think we talked about dates [Friday]. I expect him to be playing, if we don’t have any setbacks, March 10, which means he’ll be doing a full workout March 4 or 5. It could be before that, but I’m not going to push it.”"
Hardy revealed he had lower back spasms about three weeks ago while doing an offseason workout. He let his back rest, but when his back hadn’t healed, he decided it was time to tell the Orioles training staff.
Hardy recently dealt with lower back spasms during the 2014 season, but only missed 11 games as a result. He never went on the disabled list that season for his back.
Showalter confirmed Hardy was taking anti-inflammatory medication in order to speed up the healing process.
"“The thing we were worrying about were tears,” Showalter said. “There’s nothing there. … Just got to calm down the irritation.”"
To prepare for the worst, the Orioles had Manny Machado work out at shortstop, but used the World Baseball Classic as a coverup. Luckily if all goes to plan, Machado won’t have to play shortstop and Hardy will be healthy enough to man the position.
But before the Orioles can exhale a sigh of relief, they need to see how Hardy progresses in camp.