Rangers hope Hamilton will be a force in ALDS

Will Josh Hamilton be a key contributor in the Rangers' matchup with the Blue Jays?

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Josh Hamilton dealt with injuries since rejoining the Texas Rangers earlier this season, but all of that seems to be in the past right now.

With the Rangers set to open up the ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, the club is hoping to be able to rely on Hamilton (and his surgically-repaired knee) as an offensive threat in the lineup. 

"Josh, essentially, it’s all go, until we say he can’t go," manager Jeff Banister said to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan on Wednesday. "That’s the way we treat it with all of our players."

His knee operation on September 11 reduced Hamilton to mainly a pinch-hitting role for the Rangers down the stretch. However, he was able to play in the Rangers’ big weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels and even made a great running, tumbling catch to save a run in one of the games. 

The field turf of the Rogers Centre, however, could provide a bit of an issue for Hamilton’s knee. To that end, Sullivan quotes Hamilton as having a game plan: "I’ll try to limit as much time on the turf before the game to protect the knee. Other than that, I am mentally in a good place. I’m just excited to be in the position we’re in now."

The Rangers will find out just what Hamilton may be able to provide once this intriguing series kicks off on Thursday.