After testing his ankle, Hardy returns to the Oriole lineup

After putting his sore left ankle through some pregame paces, J.J. Hardy has pronounced the ankle healthy enough for duty and he returns to the Orioles' lineup here tonight against the Chicago White Sox.

"Got here early, went through my treatment and then taped it up," Hardy said. "I went out and tested it, basically doing all the things that hurt me in Kansas City and it felt fine."

He said there no longer is any pain to deal with it and that taking the Toronto series off did it a lot of good.

What he doesn't know, and doctors can't seem to pinpoint, is how exactly he hurt the ankle and what exactly he was dealing with. But he feels, whatever it was, is over now.

"Not really (they don't know what it was). There are all kinds of things, they are saying the field (in Kansas City) was real hard and that might have jammed it," he said. "But there is nothing I can remember that I did that made it hurt.

"It started up front and made its way to the back. By me favoring whatever was going on in the front, I hurt the back a bit. But sitting out these last three days, I think, was a pretty good idea and I feel good now."

On the last road trip, Hardy hit five homers in 10 games, but he only had three other hits on that trip.

"It was a rough road trip, I know I only got eight hits, but they were good hits. I feel like it will be good to get back in there and I was glad it was only three days," Hardy said.

He went 8-for-42 (.190) on that road trip with the five homers and 10 RBIs.

On the year, in 81 games, Hardy is batting .265 with 17 doubles, 19 homers, 48 RBIs and an OPS of .809.

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