After discovering lumps in his neck back in June of 2022, Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma in early December of 2022. A clean blood test back in June discouraged doctors from believing it was cancer. Shortly after, Hendriks received a PET scan, which revealed that he in fact did have cancer. After a nine month absence, Hendriks made his return on Monday night vs the Los Angeles Angels.
Return of Liam Hendriks
An initial discovery of lumps in the neck of Liam Hendriks raised some flags, however a clean blood test disproved any theories. That is, until a PET scan later that year led to a diagnosis in early December. Liam would end up announcing his diagnosis on January 9th, 2023. Hendriks battled through rounds of chemotherapy, his last coming in April. Hendriks only missed a total of about two months, since his rehab from cancer came mostly in the offseason.
A speedy recovery was followed up by action with Triple-A Charlotte, the top minor league team for the White Sox. One month after his last round of chemotherapy, Hendriks pitched in six total games for Charlotte. Five total innings allowing six earned runs that included three home runs titled Hendriks’ rehab assignment. Nevertheless, still a quick and promising recovery process for the 34-year-old.
HERE HE COMES 💚
Less than 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer, Liam Hendriks is back on the mound for the White Sox 🙌 pic.twitter.com/QEwPDvETu1
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 30, 2023
Liam Hendriks Returns
May 29th vs the Angles was highlighted by an emotional return for Liam Hendriks. A fan favorite, Hendriks took some time with his wife to react to a very cheerful crowd. Although the Angles spoiled his return, White Sox fans are glad to have him back on the field. Hendriks pitched one inning allowing three hits and two runs. Regardless, Hendriks is a top five closer when healthy and will look to dominate once again later this season.
The White Sox made up some ground in May, and will look to continue their progress. The return of Liam Hendriks provides a much needed spark moving forward.
Photo Credit- Kamil Krzaczynski- USA TODAY Sports