PHOENIX -- The Brewers were unsure Monday whether J.J. Hardy's stomach ailment last week was anything more serious than the flu, but it might not matter if Hardy continues to make progress.
Hardy missed his seventh straight game on Monday, but he fielded grounders for the second straight day and, for the first time since his illness, took batting practice with his teammates. If he continues progressing, the team will send Hardy to Minor League camp to get at-bats.
The team was concerned enough last week to send Hardy, who was having digestive problems and had lost 10 pounds, back to the doctor for more tests.
"He had a good day [Sunday] in terms of the symptoms of the illness," said manager Ned Yost, choosing his words carefully. "He's keeping things in better."
As of Monday afternoon, the Brewers had not heard the results of Hardy's medical tests, according to assistant general manager Gord Ash.
Yost remained hopeful that Hardy would be ready for the team's March 31 season opener. By playing Hardy in Minor League games, the Brewers would leave open the option of backdating an assignment on the disabled list, and he would only have to miss six regular season games.
"It would be nice to get him back in the lineup, at least for a few games," Brewers hitting coach Jim Skaalen said. "But J.J. tends to get on track pretty quick."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.