We have a front-runner for comeback story of the year, and it’s an amazing story.
Liam Hendriks’ journey from battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma to returning to the Chicago White Sox has been nothing short of remarkable. After spending the first two months of the season on the injured list, Hendriks is set to be activated on Monday.
Your journey is an inspiration. We couldn’t be more proud.
Welcome back, Liam Hendriks! pic.twitter.com/fbQ6jwJsks
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 28, 2023
A Hard-Fought Road Back
In early January, Hendriks announced his cancer diagnosis, and it has been an arduous road to recovery since then. However, on April 5, he completed his chemotherapy treatment and just two weeks later confirmed that he was officially in remission. The White Sox organization and fans rallied around him, eagerly awaiting his return to the team.
After a couple of weeks of rehab assignment with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, Hendriks showed his determination to get back on the mound. Though his performance during the rehab stint was not outstanding, he worked diligently to regain his form. He allowed six earned runs in five innings while striking out five and walking one.
Following the rehab assignment, Hendriks participated in three live batting practice sessions with the White Sox. This preparation has paved the way for his much-anticipated return to the team. The White Sox bullpen, which has struggled this season, will benefit greatly from his presence. With a current team record of 22-33 and sitting in fourth place in the AL Central, the White Sox need a boost, especially in the bullpen.
Hendricks Will Look to Return to His All-Star Form
Hendriks, a three-time All-Star and two-time AL Reliever of the Year is known for his electric stuff and dominating mentality on the bump. In the 2021 season, he was excellent as he recorded a 2.81 ERA, striking out jaw-dropping 85 batters in 57 2/3 innings, and converting 37 saves in 41 opportunities. He led the American League in saves last year, cementing his reputation as a top-tier reliever. The White Sox are eager to have their stopper back at the end of games.
As Hendriks makes his long-awaited return to the White Sox this may be exactly what they’ve been missing all season in what has been mostly a struggle for this roster. He can bring some grit but more importantly some perspective to the clubhouse, and it may finally jolt this White Sox roster into gear. Something they’ve needed dearly.