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Hardy hopes to be back in O's lineup tonight

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy received an injection in his lower back during Thursday's off-day, and he was prescribed rest with the intent being that he'll be back in the Orioles' starting lineup tonight.

"The MRI turned out pretty good, so they injected it," manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who has missed six of the team's past seven games. "Usually there's a 24-hour period to let the medication do its work. Just thought it'd be prudent after talking to [orthopedic surgeon] Dr. [Michael] Jacobs and everybody to get the full effect. He is available to play tonight, and I would use him if I have to."

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BALTIMORE -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy received an injection in his lower back during Thursday's off-day, and he was prescribed rest with the intent being that he'll be back in the Orioles' starting lineup tonight.

"The MRI turned out pretty good, so they injected it," manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who has missed six of the team's past seven games. "Usually there's a 24-hour period to let the medication do its work. Just thought it'd be prudent after talking to [orthopedic surgeon] Dr. [Michael] Jacobs and everybody to get the full effect. He is available to play tonight, and I would use him if I have to."

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Hardy said he felt a lot better on Friday and had already taken some ground-ball practice before participating in pregame batting practice. Part of the reason the team is taking it slow with the shortstop is because it wants to make sure this isn't a lingering issue that will force Hardy out at another point.

"If I don't play today, I'd think that will be six games and then I can still play 156," Hardy said. "That's kind of my goal. And trying to rush it and hurting myself and missing another six games because I tried to come back too early is definitely something that I don't want to do."

"He knows the length of the season," Showalter said. "Very mature about it. He's dealt with this before, in a more serious nature than this one. He knows how important it is to take care of it completely so it's not an issue for the rest of the season. He knows how important it is to get this resolved, and we think with one more day, we should have it resolved completely."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.

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