Orioles optimistic after shortstop J.J. Hardy receives cortisone shot in back

September 09, 2014|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles believe they received good news Tuesday as an MRI on shortstop J.J. Hardy’s lower back showed no changes. The club believes he could return to the starting lineup as early as Friday.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Hardy met with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs on Tuesday afternoon and received a cortisone shot in the sacroiliac joint in his lower back. It’s similar to what Hardy underwent in April, which alleviated a much more intense pain in his back at that time.

“He had the SI joint injected with cortisone, and the MRI was unchanged since April. He’ll come in for treatment on Thursday and [we’re] hoping he is ready to go on Friday,” Showalter said. “That’s what we were kind of expecting in a way.”

The shot should take effect within the next 48 hours. Hardy will be at Camden Yards receiving treatment from athletic trainer Richie Bancells on Thursday, and Showalter said he expects to meet with Hardy then for an update.

Showalter wouldn’t rule out Hardy being available to play in both games of Friday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees.

Hardy, who is hitting .281 in 128 games for the Orioles, hasn’t played since Friday, missing four consecutive games. He missed five consecutive (and six total) in April with back spasms. Ryan Flaherty will start again at shortstop Tuesday.

In an unrelated note, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia was out of Tuesday’s lineup because of left wrist and hand inflammation. It is possible that he will be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Former Orioles infielder Jemile Weeks will start at second base in place of Pedroia.

Here are the lineups for Tuesday's game:

Orioles

Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Nick Hundley C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Tillman RHP

Red Sox

Mookie Betts CF
Daniel Nava RF
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jemile Weeks 2B
Christian Vazquez C
Anthony Ranaudo RHP

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