Hardy worked out prior to Saturday's game against the A's at the Coliseum and has been swinging a bat, all encouraging signs for a player who has been out since being injured three weeks before the All-Star break.
"He's not going to make the 18th … but we're hoping not too long after," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He's progressing right on schedule. He did his work today. Getting a little better every day, he said."
Hardy hasn't played since June 18 when he was hit on his wrist by a 94 mph fastball from St. Louis starter Lance Lynn. The injury was later diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture, allowing Hardy to avoid surgery.
The initial timetable for Hardy's return was four to six weeks, but it's been nearly three months.
"I know he's taking a lot of dry swings and he's not having soreness there," Showalter said. "The bone itself has healed. It's the other stuff that we have to get back into playing shape. When you have that ligament and everything that's been so inactive for so long he's trying to get some of the strength back in it."
Ruben Tejada replaced Hardy at shortstop before the Orioles acquired Tim Beckham from the Rays at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The addition of Beckham, who took an 11-game hitting streak into Saturday's game, has brought some stability to the position, although Showalter said the Orioles need Hardy back in the lineup.
"I'm not going to throw some date out there," Showalter said. "We hope it's the 19th, but the chances are… we know it's not the 18th, and soon thereafter we'd love to have him. It's been a loss for us."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Orioles on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.