The Orioles have been without J.J. Hardy since Friday, and it could be Friday or later before he is in a game again. On Monday, he was sent back to Baltimore to get an MRI on his nagging back injury that's limited him. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters before Tuesday's game that following that MRI, Hardy received a cortisone shot to help recover. They are hopeful he'll be back in action for the upcoming doubleheader against the Yankees.
According to Showalter, the MRI was clean, just as back in April, when Hardy's back was also bothering him and he missed time. That's nice to hear, although the whole situation is concerning, given that we have evolved from hearing over the weekend that the Orioles were just giving him extra rest for the Trop series out of an abundance of caution, to Hardy missing the entire next series as well.
So, while there's optimism for Hardy being able to play in three days, there's really no way for us to know until Friday gets here. With all injuries, we always hear about things going fine until suddenly they're not.
With the O's ten games up in the division, they can afford to be missing Hardy for a little while longer if it means he'll be more healthy a month from now. There's no doubt that Hardy is a crucial player for the team's hopes for anything they might accomplish getting to and through the playoffs, though. Until he's ready and playing, there will be at least a little reason to worry.