Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks was diagnosed with cancer in January, and less than five months later he has pitched in a big league game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Hendriks, who was activated from the injured list Monday after his battle against non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma, came into the game in the top of the eighth inning against the Angels, with his team trailing by a run.
The crowd erupted into cheers as Hendriks took the mound, but the return wasn’t a fully-happy affair, as Hendriks surrendered two runs and walked a batter while surrendering three hits.
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Of course, that was far from the biggest story of the day, as Hendriks’ remarkable return captured the headlines. In early January, the closer was diagnosed with cancer, immediately beginning treatment for the illness. He underwent chemotherapy for three months, with his last treatment coming in early April.
On April 20, Hendriks announced that he was cancer-free, and he began to ramp up his preparations for the season, having begun throwing while still undergoing treatment.
He went on a rehab assignment earlier this month, and on Sunday night reports emerged that the team would activate him from the injured list. They did so prior to Monday's game, placing Jimmy Lambert on the injured list.
The plan is to ease Hendriks back into the mix, with manager Pedro Grifol revealing that he doesn’t intend to use him in save situations until he is ready for the workload and the demands.
White Sox News
Hendriks has amassed 75 saves in two seasons with the White Sox, making back-to-back All-Star appearances and finishing in the top-10 in Cy Young Award voting in 2021.