Liam Hendriks undergoes Tommy John surgery months after return from non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow – known as Tommy John surgery – and will need 12 to 14 months to recover. 

Hendriks was placed on the 15-day injured list on June 11 with right elbow inflammation. He appeared in five games during the 2023 MLB season, ending the year with a 5.40 ERA in five innings. 

Liam Hendriks pitches against the Angels

Liam Hendriks, #31 of the Chicago White Sox, reacts against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 29, 2023 in Chicago. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Hendriks’ surgery comes just two months after returning to the mound following his battle with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In early April, he underwent his final round of chemotherapy, and on April 20, he officially announced he was “cancer free.”  

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He returned to action on May 29 against the Los Angeles Angels, taking the field to a standing ovation from the Chicago crowd. 

“Truly a testament to his hard work and commitment the fact that we’re even having this conversation in May,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “When we initially got the initial prognosis, I don’t think anyone would have been shocked if the response to a stage 4 lymphoma diagnosis was we weren’t going to see the guy pitch this year. Or if we initially announced ‘Hey, he’s probably going to be gone till at least the All-Star break,’ I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye with that timeline.”

Liam Hendricks reacts to strikeout

Liam Hendriks, #31 of the Chicago White Sox, reacts after getting a strikeout to end the top half of the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 3, 2023 in Chicago. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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Hendriks announced his cancer diagnosis in January. 

“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,” he wrote.

Liam Hendriks in the dugout

Liam Hendriks, #31 of the Chicago White Sox, looks on from the dugout before game one of a double header against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 2023 in Bronx borough of New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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He signed with Chicago as a free agent in 2021 after five seasons with the Oakland A’s. In his first season with the White Sox, Hendriks led the American League with 38 saves. 

Hendriks has a $15 million team option for the 2024 season, with a $15 million buyout if the White Sox decline the option, according to MLB.com. 

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report

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