There’s some positive news to report on this Opening Day eve.
According to White Sox GM Rick Hahn, Liam Hendriks is continuing to undergo treatment for his Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is making good progress. Though there is still no timeline for his return, Hahn reportedly said that it’s on purpose that Hendriks has not been placed on the 60-day IL.
Hendriks originally unveiled he is fighting cancer in a January 5th post on his Instagram, where he wrote the following:
“As a professional athlete, I have always been mindful to try and use my position in the public eye to the most positive ends possible by shining a light on causes or issues that touch close to home for myself, my wife and my family. It is in that spirit that I want to share some personal health new I have learned in 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 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.
My treatment begins tomorrow, and I am confident that I will 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.”
The White Sox and Rick Hahn also released a statement the same day:
“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 during the coming months. Knowing everyone involved, especially Liam, we are optimistic he will pitch again for the White Sox as soon as viable. In the meantime, we all will do everything in our power to support our teammates and his family as they face this challenge, while also respecting their privacy. We do not expect to have any updates on Liam’s playing status prior to Opening Day at the very earliest.”
The 34-year-old reliever has been All-Star caliber for the White Sox over his two years as the team’s closer. More importantly than that, however, Hendriks has been a leader in the clubhouse and in the Chicago community. Hendriks’ South Slydah Society is the most well-known way, however, he and his family have been outspoken supporters of the LGTBQ+ community and have spoken out against gun violence in Chicago. He has also partnered with organizations focused on animal welfare, including Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, One Tail at a Time, Fetching Tails Foundation, Mission K-9, the Petco Foundation, and the Rescue Me Thursday campaign.
We are all continuing to wish Hendriks and his loved ones all the best as he goes on with his treatment. Hopefully, we will see the Aussie back in action again soon!
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Featured Photo: © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports