SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles got good news on Saturday, as J.J. Hardy's bone scan test came back negative, keeping the shortstop in line to resume baseball activities March 4 or 5.
"You can tell just being around him he's pretty upbeat about it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who has been sidelined with back spasms the past three weeks. "I think we talked about dates yesterday. I expect him to be playing [in games], if we don't have any setbacks, March 10."
Hardy, who has been plagued by this injury previously, also had an MRI and CT scan, as the team wanted to be sure the spasms weren't an indicator of a more serious issue.
"The thing we were worried about were tears," Showalter said. "There's nothing there … just got to calm down the irritation."
Hardy has started a round of anti-inflammatory medication and will just rest for now to let the area calm down.
"It was weird yesterday having him not on the field yesterday. I've come into Spring Training six, seven years now, and it was kind of awkward not having him out there. I know he wants to be out there badly," Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said.
"J.J. is a hard worker, he takes the time off he needs, and he listens to the trainers and people around him to get right. I've been around him for years now. If it's 15 days he's got to be off the field, he's going to be back on the 16th day. He's a grinder. He's going to grind through everything as much as possible to be ready for Opening Day. If it's nothing serious, I guarantee he'll be there on Opening Day."
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.