BALTIMORE -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy will head to extended spring workouts on Friday to begin his rehab. The hope is that he will start to ease into weight-bearing exercises.
"We actually took an X-ray yesterday. It looks good. [Head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells] was saying, if you didn't really know exactly what you were looking for in the exact spot, you wouldn't see anything," manager Buck Showalter said of the hairline fracture in Hardy's left foot.
"Almost healed, I'm hoping when we get back off this trip, he'll be back here. The 29th is the four-week mark, so he'll start some weight-bearing stuff down there with Dave [Walker] … it's doing everything you hoped it would do, healing at the rate you would hope. So far, so good."
Hardy has been in a boot since the injury, and he has done some pool work. He was placed on the DL on May 3.
After extended spring, Hardy would likely need to go out on a rehab assignment before he can be an option for the Orioles, who are hoping he can return on the shorter end of the six to eight weeks initially indicated.
"That would be my first blush at it, that maybe he'd get some at-bats somewhere," Showalter said. "It would be over a month. We haven't gotten that far with him. Who knows? Maybe he stays there [in Sarasota] -- it's going so well that he stays there a few days and gets a few down there. They'll still be active down there."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.