CHICAGO — It’s a moment that White Sox fans have been waiting for since January and finally arrived on Monday night.

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Having gone through rounds of chemotherapy for cancer, gone through rehab in the minor leagues, then a number of throwing sessions in the majors, Liam Hendriks was ready to return to action.

Activated earlier in the day by the White Sox, the closer was involved in a pregame ceremony with his wife, Kristi, in salute to his return to the club.

Just after 9 p.m. at Guaranteed Rate Field, the time came for Hendriks to pitch again.

With the lights flickering and “We Will Rock You” by DJ’s From Mars blaring over the loudspeakers, Hendriks came down the stairs from the White Sox bullpen in left field and down to the warning track.

The closer then made the quick trot through the outfield to the pitcher’s mound for his first outing of the 2023 season.

It’s easily one of the moments of what has been a difficult campaign so far for the White Sox as Hendriks completed his battle with cancer that started with his announcement that he had Stage IV non-Hodgskin’s lymphoma on January 8.

He began the first of four rounds of chemotherapy treatments the next day, doing so for the next three months. On April 20, Hendriks announced that he was cancer-free, and began rehabilitation outings at the White Sox Arizona’s facility in Glendale then Triple-A Iowa.

The closer would then throw a collection of bullpen sessions and batting practice before getting the official call-up on Monday afternoon.

After taking the mound, both the White Sox and the Angels paused to allow Hendriks to soak in the moment as the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field gave the closer a long-standing ovation.

It was the pitcher’s first appearance since October 3, 2022 when he picked up his 37 and final save of the 2023 season against the Twins.

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

As far as the outing itself, Hendriks showed a little rust after a longtime off as the Angels were able to add to their lead. In 27 pitches in the eighth inning, the closer allowed three hits and two runs with a walk in a 6-4 loss to Los Angeles to start a three-game series.

Not that it mattered too much on this day, for Hendriks’ return less than six months after his cancer fight proved to be one of the highlights of the season for the White Sox.