Flaherty on the frustration of injury and Orioles’ struggles

Infielder Ryan Flaherty hasn’t been given an exact date for beginning his injury rehab assignment, but he’s hopeful that he can start playing later this week. And just briefly before the Orioles activate him from the disabled list.

Flaherty-Leaves-Injured.jpgThe Orioles cleared Flaherty to begin throwing again and he’s been taking ground balls and swinging in the cage.

“I’ve been throwing now for about a week and a half,” he said. “Just trying to build my arm strength up before I get going in rehab games.”

Flaherty, who’s 7-for-30 in 13 games, has been out since May 19 with a right shoulder strain. The discomfort is centered more in the lat area and has complicated his recovery.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s one of those weird injuries. Because of where it’s located, it just takes a while to heal. And just trying to get my arm strength back.”

The Orioles shut down Flaherty earlier due to a reoccurrence of the pain that surfaced back in spring training. He tried throwing beyond 60 feet and couldn’t do it. But there haven’t been any more setbacks and he’s been able to avoid surgery, which became a growing possibility at one point.

“It’s not surgery or anything like that. It’s a matter of just trying to let the muscle heal.”

Flaherty doesn’t expect to stay in the minors for long and joked about his timetable.

“As soon as I get a couple of hits,” he said. “No, I don’t know. I’d imagine three games, something like that. As quick as I can get out there and get ready to go.

“I have no idea. They haven’t told me. I’m just trying to come in every day and try to do as much as I can and hopefully get out there quick.”

In the meantime, Flaherty is watching an opportunity pass to start at shortstop or second base while J.J. Hardy is on the disabled list with a fractured wrist. And he is forced to watch the season crumble as the Orioles have fallen six games below .500.

“It’s frustrating. We’re all frustrated,” he said. “We expect every time we go out there to win and when that’s not happening, it’s frustrating. But every day you just hope that it’s going to turn around. You come in every day and you hope today’s the day that things turn. And every day it doesn’t is frustrating.

“Keep plugging along and keep going.”

Hardy can begin strengthening exercises in a few weeks. Meanwhile, his fractured rib has healed, so that won’t be an issue.

Here are the starters for the four-game series against the Rangers at Camden Yards:

Monday: Chris Tillman vs. Andrew Cashner
Tuesday: Dylan Bundy vs. Tyson Ross
Wednesday: Kevin Gausman vs. Martin Perez
Thursday: Wade Miley vs. Cole Hamels

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