Josh Hamilton has stepped in the box four times for the Texas Rangers in their last 35 games due to a nagging knee injury that required a surgical cleaning out back on Sept. 11 with hopes he could return before the end of the season in a more expanded role than that of pinch-hitter.
On Wednesday in Oakland, Hamilton ran his knee through a gamut of test before the game, according to the Dallas Morning News' Gerry Fraley.
Hamilton ran the bases, took at-bats in a simulated game and also played in the outfield, looking to show the Rangers and manager Jeff Banister he's ready to step back on the field as a full-time player and not just a pinch-hitter who can't even really run the bases — someone who would be hard to squeeze on to a possible playoff roster.
Hamilton said the work resulted in a "good day," and then went on to say he wants to possibly play a few innings against the Houston Astros this weekend. Two things there, if things are tight, not sure the Rangers would want to throw in a rusty Hamilton in maybe the biggest series of the year. Two, if he does play, and can play well, it'd be a huge boost heading into the regular season's final week.
Banister said not so fast on the idea of Hamilton playing as soon as this weekend, but he liked hearing Hamilton so optimistic.
"I'm glad he has that in his sights, because it means he feels good," Banister told the Morning News. "But we'll continue to evaluate it."