Hardy could miss significant time

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy will undergo an MRI on his left oblique on Monday, although early indications regarding his injury are that he could miss up to six weeks.

Hardy had a conversation Saturday night with his friend Corey Hart, the Brewers outfielder who suffered his own left rib-cage strain and is finally turning the corner. Hardy –who will report to extended spring training on Monday – could miss an extended amount of time.

“It’s not good,” Hart said of Hardy’s diagnosis. “They thought mine was going to be minor, and here we are six weeks later. Maybe I’m not a quick healer. It’s a tough thing — you try to push it and all of a sudden you’re pushed back three days. It’s crazy how everybody is getting them.”

The team will know more regarding Hardy following Monday’s tests. In the meantime, O’s manager Buck Showalter will go with middle infield backup Robert Andino and Cesar Izturis. Hardy’s loss is a big blow for the Orioles, who traded for the shortstop this offseason to provide some extra offense at the bottom of their order. Hardy had a solid spring but had been hampered since Thursday with tightness in his left side.

In six games, he had three hits –all doubles –and two RBIs, scoring four runs and walking twice.

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