J.J. Hardy

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy participates in defensive drills in February. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / February 24, 2014)

Shortstop J.J. Hardy said he completely rested his balky back on Thursday and feels good enough to play today.

But he’ll be getting at least one more day off before playing in a game again.

“I understand going through everything first before just jumping right back into the game,” he said. “Do everything today and hopefully be in there tomorrow.”

Hardy has played just once since April 3 due to lower back spasms. He played on April 5, but felt sharper versions of the pain on Sunday pre-game while fielding grounders.

Hardy said he arrived early at Camden Yards early Friday to go through drills. And everything was positive.

“I’ve made a bunch of big strides the last couple days. I came in today early and took some ground balls, took some swings. It all felt good,” he said. “I’ll go through a normal day of practice and anticipate on being in there tomorrow.“

Hardy has played in just four games this season. He missed just three all of 2013.

Here is the Orioles lineup against the Jays today: Markakis 9, Young DH, Davis 3, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Cruz 7, Lombardozzi 4, Flaherty 6, Schoop 5. Tillman 1.