Hawthorn have reportedly come to the decision to sign recent Box Hill defender and VFL star Ethan Phillips via the Supplemental Selection Period in the wake of James Blanck's season-ending injury.

Blanck, who went down with a ruptured ACL at training this week, can be moved to the inactive list to allow the Hawks to bolster their backline stocks ahead of Monday's SSP deadline.

Phillips, the 2022 Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal winner, moved from Port Melbourne to Box Hill this off-season and has been training with Sam Mitchell's group throughout the course of the summer.

Speaking earlier this week, Hawthorn football boss Rob McCartney hinted the club was in a position to act swiftly following Blanck's heart-breaking injury.

"We do have the option to look at the pre-season supplementary draft or the Mid-Season Draft to look into whether there are other options in that space," McCartney told SEN.

"We've got some depth in our back end, so we think we can cover (Blanck) in the short term.

"There's no doubt we could definitely (sign an SSP prospect) on that short turnaround if we believe it's the right fit. Even though we didn't have [an open list spot before] you're always contingency planning.

Box Hill Hawks recruit Ethan Phillips at pre-season training, 2024 (Image via Box Hill FC)

"So we definitely know a lot about what's out there in a number of different positions, and whether it's a key back you would take or not.

"We have an amazingly strong Box Hill program and we've had a number of players who have played (in intra-club sessions) throughout the pre-season. We've got a good eye on that talent.

"We think we've got enough information that we'll sit down knowing that that position is live for us, and make some decisions around whether we'll pull the trigger for Monday or we'll hold and have position in the Mid-Season Draft."

The tall defender, rated as one of the best for his position at the state league level, now looks set to fill a hole in Mitchell's depleted defensive options as an SSP addition.

According to News Corp, Phillips has been told he will be added to the Hawks' senior list just months on from joining Box Hill.

With Blanck viewed as a likely starter for Hawthorn this year, Phillips could be in contention for an opportunity at AFL level early into the 2024 season, with the likes of Sam Frost, Denver Grainger-Barras and Jai Serong also in the mix.

Phillips' promotion will also mean every Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal - awarded to the most promising young VFL player - recipient since 2006 has made their way onto an AFL list.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: Ethan Phillips of the Borough takes possession of the ball during the round 16 VFL match between Port Melbourne and Collingwood at ETU Stadium on July 17, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Last season with the Borough Phillips averaged 17.6 disposals, 8.6 marks and 4.9 intercept marks across his 18 appearances.

Hawthorn are yet to confirm the signing of Phillips, with the SSP signing deadline set for 5:00pm AEDT on Monday, February 19.