Just a few months after he revealed his cancer diagnosis, Liam Hendriks returned to the mound Monday night in Chicago.
Hendriks, who announced in January that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, took the mound in the eighth inning to a massive standing ovation.
HERE HE COMES 💚
Less than 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer, Liam Hendriks is back on the mound for the White Sox 🙌 pic.twitter.com/QEwPDvETu1
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 30, 2023
Tonight was a huge W to us.
Welcome back, Liam! 💚 pic.twitter.com/uF1C3azuzy
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 30, 2023
Hendriks threw a strike on his very first pitch. That ball was instantly taken out of the rotation for him.
Liam Hendriks fires a strike for his first pitch of the 2023 season. 💚 pic.twitter.com/GwTyLXlgUC
— MLB (@MLB) May 30, 2023
“It was definitely emotional,” Hendriks said, via the Chicago Sun Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen. “It was nerve-wracking going out. Humbling and sobering seeing people in my shirts and holding my signs.”
Hendriks pitched just one inning. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk.
The 34-year-old revealed in January that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is a form of cancer in the lymphatic system. He completed chemotherapy treatments in early April and announced that he was officially in remission two weeks later. By early May, the White Sox sent him on a rehab assignment with their Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.
“He looked strong tonight,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said, via Van Schouwen. “I’m sure he’ll look stronger next time out.”
Although the White Sox lost Monday and Hendriks' performance wasn't great, it's not really that important, considering what he has been through the past several months.
Hendriks is back on the mound. That's all that matters.