After missing the first two months of the 2023 MLB season, Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks returned to the mound on Monday after revealing he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January.
Hendriks pitched the eighth inning, allowing two runs on three hits against the Los Angeles Angels in his first outing since announcing in April he was in remission.
The three-time All-Star received a standing ovation from the Chicago crowd as he took the mound in the eighth inning.
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“It was great being back out there,” Hendriks said. “Getting back, putting cleats on, running out, doing all that. I felt good, I felt strong, I felt comfortable out there. Unfortunately for me, I just wasn’t able to get the two-strike pitch where I wanted to.”
Hendriks appeared in six games with Triple-A Charlotte in his rehab process, finishing with an ERA of 10.80 as he worked his way back to the majors.
“Truly a testament to his hard work and commitment the fact that we’re even having this conversation in May,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “When we initially got the initial prognosis, I don’t think anyone would have been shocked if the response to a stage 4 lymphoma diagnosis was we weren’t going to see the guy pitch this year. Or if we initially announced ‘Hey, he’s probably going to be gone till at least the All-Star break,’ I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye with that timeline.”
Hendriks signed with Chicago as a free agent in 2021 after five seasons with the Oakland A’s.
In his first year with the White Sox, Hendriks led the American League with 38 saves.
Hendriks first noticed some lumps on his neck last summer and was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in December.
“It was definitely emotional,” Hendriks said, according to ESPN. “It was humbling going out there and seeing the amount of people wearing my shirts, the amount of people having signs or flags or anything like that – the amount of people that were chanting when I came into the game.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Source: Fox News
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