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White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks announces he has cancer

Sep 29, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks announced Sunday night that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Hendriks, 33, said his treatment will begin Monday and he expects to make a full recovery.

“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,” Hendriks wrote in a social media post.

“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 released a statement from general manager Rick Hahn in support of Hendriks, a three-time All-Star.

“Our thoughts and reactions at this time are for Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player,” Hahn wrote. “I know the entire Chicago White Sox organization, our staff, his teammates and certainly White Sox fans, will rally in support of Liam and (wife) 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 teammate and his family as they face this challenge, while also respecting their privacy.”

Hahn added that the team would not have any updates on Hendriks’ status for the 2023 season until Opening Day “at the very earliest.”

A native of Australia, Hendriks has played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily coming out of the bullpen since 2015. In 2022, his second year with the White Sox, Hendriks appeared in 58 games and went 4-4 with a 2.81 ERA and 37 saves. The year before that, his 38 saves led the American League.

In 471 career games (44 starts) for the Minnesota Twins (2011-13), Kansas City Royals (2014), Toronto Blue Jays (2014-15), Oakland Athletics (2016-20) and White Sox, Hendriks has a career 3.81 ERA with a 31-34 record and 115 saves. He has 724 strikeouts to 158 walks across 645 innings.

Hendriks was an All-Star in 2019, 2021 and 2022. He received votes for the American League Cy Young award in 2020 and 2021.

–Field Level Media