White Sox closer to Liam Hendriks to begin treatment after Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis

Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks announced on his personal Instagram account Sunday night that he has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The White Sox have since confirmed the news on their Twitter account. Hendriks is expected to begin his treatment regimen on Monday.

Hendriks, 34 on February 10, wrote the following in a series of slides on his Instagram announcement:

As a professional athlete, I have always been mindful of trying to use my position in the public eye for the most positive ends possible by shedding light on causes or issues that hit home for myself, my wife and my family. It’s in that spirit that I want to share some personal health news I’ve learned over the past few days, and do so on my own terms.

Recently I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hearing the word “cancer” came as a shock to my wife and me, as it does to millions of families each year. However, I am determined to embrace the struggle and overcome this new challenge with the same determination I have used when facing other obstacles in my life.

My treatment starts tomorrow and I am confident that I will be fully recovered and back on the mound as soon as possible. I know that with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care of my doctors, I will get through this.

The Cleveland Clinic describes Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as “a group of blood cancers that develop in your lymphatic system” and notes that it is the sixth most common cancer found in men and people assigned as male at birth. The National Cancer Institute estimated that there were more than 80,000 new diagnoses of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2022, about four percent of total cancer cases.

While Hendrik’s baseball career is a trivial matter under the circumstances, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement that the team does not expect to have “any updates on Liam’s playing status until Opening Day at the earliest.”

Here’s the rest of Hahn’s statement, as shared by James Fegan of The Athletic:

Our thoughts and reactions at this time are for Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player. I know the entire Chicago White Sox organization, our staff, his teammates, and certainly White Sox fans, will rally in support of Liam and Kristi in the coming months. Knowing everyone involved, especially Liam, we are optimistic that he will pitch again for the White Sox as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will all do everything in our power to support our teammate and his family as they face this challenge, while respecting their privacy.

Hendriks has pitched in 12 major league seasons, compiling a 3.81 ERA (109 ERA+) and a 4.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 115 saves. He is a three-time All-Star and a two-time winner of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

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