Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, a three-time MLB All-Star, announced Sunday that he will begin treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Monday.
The right-handed pitcher, who will celebrate his 34th birthday on Feb. 10, took to his Instagram account to explain that he wanted to “share some personal health news I have learned in the past few days, and do so on my own terms.”
Hendriks, who shared that he was recently diagnosed, stated, “Hearing the word ‘Cancer’ came as a shock to my wife and I, as it does to millions of families each year. However, I am resolved to embrace the fight and overcome this new challenge with the same determination I have used when facing other obstacles in my life.”
The five-year survival rate for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 73.8%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Some forms are aggressive while others are slow growing.
Hendriks, who said his treatment will begin Monday, stated that he was confident he would make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible.
“I know with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this.”
Hendriks, a Perth, Australia native, has pitched in the majors for 12 seasons — the last two with the White Sox after he signed as a free agent on Jan. 15, 2021. He began his major-league career with the Minnesota Twins in 2011 before being waived following the 2013 season.
After short stints with the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, Hendriks signed with the Oakland Athletics in 2016, who converted him to a closer in 2019 as he made his first All-Star team. He made two more All-Star appearances as a member of the White Sox, where he recorded a career-high 38 saves in 2021 and 37 in 2022.
Chicago White Sox Senior Vice President and General Manager Rick Hahn stated Sunday night that the organization is thinking first of “Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player” and that everyone from staff to teammates to fans “will rally in support of Liam and (wife) Kristi during the coming months.”
Hahn stated the White Sox are optimistic that Hendrihs will pitch again for Chicago though they “do not expect to have any updates on Liam’s playing status prior to Opening Day the very earliest.”
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