CHICAGO — There is one player on the White Sox who is noticeably absent from the team’s home opener, but he was there in spirit and video on Monday.
When Liam Hendriks had the chance to address the crowd briefly at Guaranteed Rate Field, he had good news.
The closer, who is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, announced that he underwent his last treatment for the disease on a video that was aired on the scoreboard at the ballpark ahead of the team’s first game at home in 2023 against the Giants.
“Happy Opening Day, White Sox fans. Just want to let you know I’m starting my last round of chemo today, so I’ll see you guys on the south side soon. Play ball!,” said Hendriks in the recorded message that was played at the ballpark just ahead of the 2:10 p.m. first pitch.
Hendricks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January and has been undergoing treatments since January 9. While he was around teammates during spring training in Glendale, Arizona, he’s been working mostly on his own as he continued chemotherapy for cancer.
A positive sign from the White Sox came just before Opening Day last Thursday when Hendriks was placed on the 15-day injured list instead of the 60-day injured list. That opened up the possibility of the closer returning to the team before June.
General manager Rick Hahn told reporters last Wednesday that a return timetable has yet to be set.
Hendricks is entering his third season with the White Sox and 13th in Major League Baseball. He’s been an All-Star during his first two seasons with the club, saving 75 games in 85 attempts in 2021 and 2022.