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September 27, 2023

Rhys Hoskins could make a World Series return if the Phillies get there, Rob Thomson says

Rhys Hoskins, who tore his ACL in the spring, is taking BP again and running the bases. A late postseason return isn't out of the question, Phillies manager Rob Thomson told SportsRadio WIP.

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As the Phillies were out celebrating their NL Wild Card berth Tuesday night, Rhys Hoskins, who had been sidelined all season, was right there on the field with them. 

The veteran first baseman had torn his ACL in the spring, putting any chance of him playing during the regular season out of the question, but he was holding out hope for a shot at a possible late-October return so long as the Phillies were able to get that far. 

They're on their way now, and if they can keep playing for a few more weeks, then there's definitely a chance.

"I think there is," Phillies manager Rob Thomson told the WIP Morning Show on Wednesday. "You know, this guy's making a lot of progress. Now, he's gotta go through a lot more testing with the training staff and with the doctors, but he is now hitting on the field. He's taking 75, 80, 85 swings a day. He ran the bases the other day. He's really making a lot of progress and it's really remarkable to think that we do have a chance to have him back for, you know, maybe the World Series."

Hoskins suffered the ACL tear in late March, underwent surgery on Opening Day (March 30), and was looking at a rehab timeline of around 7-9 months from his doctors. 

But at the same time, he saw teammate Bryce Harper making a lightning-fast and unprecedented return from Tommy John surgery while having the knowledge and insight of Kyle Schwarber's way back from an ACL tear within the same season when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. 

He wanted to join the club of defied expectations. 

"I think every athlete's mindset is to beat whatever the doctors says," Hoskins said back in April. "So I'm gonna continue with that. We also have a guy here [Schwarber] that had the same or similar injury and was able to contribute in the World Series, so I'm gonna hold on to that."

"It's not out of the question," Thomson continued on WIP of a possible return for Hoskins. "It would still be ahead of schedule, I would say, but I don't think it's out of the question."

But if the Phillies do make it to the end, and Hoskins is ready to come back for it, he won't be playing first base again. His knee still wouldn't be ready to support that kind of workload so soon. 

"He'd be a DH or a pinch-hitter coming off our bench," Thomson said. "Just because the stability of the knee, I don't think, will be up to where he can be out on the field for nine innings playing defense." 

The club will more than likely be able to work with that though.

In the process of returning to the lineup earlier this year, and the much longer one of finally returning to the field, Harper learned how to play first base and has held up well, and Alec Bohm has shown capable of filling in at first too while Edmundo Sosa covers for him at third. 

And ultimately, if the Phillies can find any way of getting those game-breaking homers that Hoskins hit last postseason back in the fold for this one, they'll absolutely want to take it. 

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