BALTIMORE -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy hobbled into the home clubhouse on crutches on Tuesday afternoon, with tests on Monday discovering a hairline in his left foot that put the infielder on the 15-day disabled list.
Hardy, who suffered the injury fouling a ball off his foot on Sunday, will be in a boot for two to three weeks, and he said he doesn't want to set any timeline right now. Initial estimates are that Hardy will be at least a month out from returning to the Orioles, meaning Ryan Flaherty, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk in Hardy's roster spot, will be an everyday fixture in the infield.
"I don't want to put a timetable on it, just because I don't want to be disappointed if I don't reach it or if I set one and try to rush back," Hardy said. "I've never broken a bone in my body until this, so I don't know how long it's going to take. I've read six to eight weeks and lot of you guys have written that. I have no idea honestly."
Hardy left Sunday's game after five innings, and he said he knew something was wrong when the area didn't loosen up in the field. The team saw some concerning things on his X-ray and scheduled more tests for Monday's off-day.
"If there's such a thing as a good break," manager Buck Showalter said of the non-displaced fracture, "there shouldn't be any complications with it."
While Flaherty, who was on the Opening Day roster, is a solid defender, losing Hardy is a big blow for Baltimore. The captain of the infield, Hardy is exceptional with the glove, and he was batting .244/.291/.410 with seven doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs in 22 games this season.
Flaherty was initially in Tuesday's lineup at shortstop, but third baseman Manny Machado spoke with Showalter before the game and was moved to short, with Flaherty getting the nod at third.
"There's some options there. I'd like to keep them open. I'd also like to keep from moving guys around a lot," Showalter said of the infield without Hardy. "I spoke to J.J. at length today and [infield coach] Bobby [Dickerson] …talked to Manny, got his feelings about it and this is the way we are going to go tonight."
Machado, who was drafted as a shortstop, came up from Double-A Bowie and was put at third base in 2012. Since then, he's established himself as one of the best third basemen in baseball, though he's made it no secret he's a shortstop at heart. Machado has played 11 Major League games at shortstop (eight starts) entering Tuesday night.
Baltimore, which is playing with a short bench right now, will also look to add some infield depth.