Liam Hendriks

‘Unfinished business': Liam Hendriks hopes to pitch again, play for White Sox

The White Sox closer expressed his future intentions amid uncertainty about his recent Tommy John surgery

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The White Sox announced Liam Hendriks underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Aug. 2, capping off a season he didn't "envision," headlined by his battle with cancer in January and now a long-term elbow injury.

But that's not stopping the 34-year-old from returning to the mound.

"There's no doubt in my mind I'll be back," Hendriks told the media on Friday. "Same thing as when everything happened in January. At this point, I've been pitching with a less-than-stellar elbow for 15 years. So, having a new one out there, I mean, hopefully, it can add a couple of years on the back end (of my career)."

Hendriks mentioned he's pitched with this injury for a while. He mentioned his doctor was surprised to learn he had performed with the injury.

And it's not a new issue. Hendriks conceded he's had elbow issues his entire career. In his eyes, fixing the problem permanently should give the back end of his career another boost.

But, will that be with the White Sox?

Hendriks has a club option for the final year of his contract next season worth $15 million. The projection for his recovery from the surgery is 12-14 months, per the White Sox. That puts him in the September 2024 range to pitch again.

Though, for that to happen in a White Sox uniform, the team would need to pick up his option, knowing he wouldn't be able to pitch for the majority of the regular season next year.

His contract is tricky. The cost of buying out his final year is that of its worth -- $15 million. The White Sox can, however, spread that money out through 2033, keeping their books relatively clean for the future.

Either way, Hendriks let it be known he wants to return to the South Side.

"The ball's in their court, obviously. I have an option for the end of the year," Hendriks said. "I have put it in their ears that I would like to stay. I think I have unfinished business here."

Despite an uncertain future, Hendriks isn't worried.

He's absolutely positive, as he was when he was diagnosed with cancer, that he will make a full return. Whether or not that's with the White Sox is seemingly out of his control. But he's not going to let that idea weigh on his mind.

Just like how he won't let the fact that he is undergoing another major setback bother him.

"It is what it is," Hendriks said. "There's nothing I can do to change it and if you don't have a positive attitude with certain things it's just gonna derail progress and everything like that."

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