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J.J. Hardy leaves Saturday’s game with strained left oblique

J.J. Hardy

The Baltimore Orioles J.J. Hardy (2) hits a double off of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Wade Davis to drive in two runs during the seventh inning of a Major League Baseball game on Sunday April 3, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

AP

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has been dealing with discomfort in the left side of his body for a couple of days now. On Saturday, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, he was finally diagnosed with a strained left oblique.

Recovery times tend to differ for oblique strains, but it’s a near certainty that the Orioles will place Hardy on the 15-day disabled list so that they can free up a roster spot and bring in some depth.

Hardy made just one at-bat in Saturday’s game against the Rangers before he was lifted for Robert Andino. Cesar Izturis is likely to split time at shortstop with Andino while Hardy is out.

Hardy, 28, is batting .200 with a .294 on-base percentage over his first 17 plate appearances in an Orioles uniform.

UPDATE: According to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, the O’s are worried that Hardy could miss six weeks.