Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, on the disabled list with a fractured bone in his left foot, will head to the club's spring training facility on Friday to continue his rehab. The Orioles will be on a three-city, nine-game road trip.
Hardy's foot is still in a boot and he's still using crutches, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said an X-ray taken Wednesday showed that the bone is healing well. Hardy is expected to get the boot off on May 29.
"It looks good. [Trainer] Richie [Bancells] was saying that if you didn't really know what you were looking for in the exact spot, you wouldn't see anything," Showalter said. "It's almost healed. We're hoping that when we get back off this trip, he will be back here."
Hardy has been doing non-weight bearing exercises in the pool, and Showalter said that he will begin to add some weight-bearing exercises to strengthen his lower half down in Sarasota. Hardy will be under the supervision of Orioles minor league medical coordinator Dave Walker.
"l don't know if they'll take a picture down there before he comes back or here," Showalter said. "But, it's doing everything you hoped it would do, heal at the rate you would hope. So far, so good."
Showalter said that he expects Hardy to go on a minor league rehab assignment to get some at bats under his belt, but said he could also stay in extended spring training in Sarasota and get plate appearances there.
"That would be my first blush at it, that maybe he'd get some at-bats somewhere," Showalter said of a rehab assignment. "It would be over a month. We haven't gotten that far with him. Who knows? Maybe he stays there, it's going so well that he stays there a few days and gets a few down there. They'll still be active down there."
Regardless, Showalter gave Hardy an assignment, a list of players in extended spring training that the manager expects scouting reports on upon his return to Baltimore.
"I gave him about six or seven names," Showalter said. "I told him to come back with a full report on these guys. … So he's got something to do."