Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn gave an update on closer Liam Hendriks's status on Wednesday, the first since Hendriks announced in January that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"In recent days, we've received positive news on Liam's progress," Hahn told reporters. "He remains in treatment, and still has some work ahead of him. However, he is making very good progress."
Here's more of Hahn's comments, courtesy of WGN's Josh Frydman:
Really positive news from Hahn on Liam Hendriks’ health and status for the season #Whitesox @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/kkxqRthAOu— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) March 29, 2023
Hahn noted that while they do not have a specific timeline to share at present, the White Sox have purposefully not placed Hendriks on the 60-day injured list. (Such a move would, obviously, necessitate that he miss at least two months of the season.) Furthermore, Hahn added that he hopes to have a more substantive update to provide on Hendriks closer to mid- to late April.
Of course, once Hendriks is cleared to resume baseball activities, he'll need to build up his arm strength and essentially go through his own personal spring training. That will necessitate a rehab stint to the minors so that he can get back into the groove of pitching in games. In other words, Hendriks' return to the big-league roster will still be a little ways off. On the whole, though, it's highly encouraging that Hahn is even addressing that particular aspect.
Hendriks has pitched in parts of 12 seasons, compiling a career 3.81 ERA (109 ERA+) and a 4.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio along with 115 saves. In addition to making three All-Star Games, he's a two-time winner of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.
The Cleveland Clinic describes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as "a group of blood cancers that develop in your lymphatic system" and notes that it's the sixth-most common cancer found in men and people designated male at birth. The National Cancer Institute estimated that there were more than 80,000 new diagnoses of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2022, about four percent of total cancer cases.