White Sox closer Liam Hendriks to start cancer treatment

CHICAGO -- White Sox closer Liam Hendriks announced Sunday that he has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and will begin treatment on Monday.

"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," he wrote in an Instagram post.

Hendriks, 33, is a 12-year veteran playing for his fifth organization. He has been with the White Sox since 2021, saving 75 games for them over the past two seasons. He's considered a team leader who's extremely active in charitable causes throughout the Chicago area.

After Hendriks' announcement, White Sox senior vice president and general manager Rick Hahn expressed the team's sentiments in a statement released Sunday evening.

"Our thoughts and reactions at this time are for Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player," Hahn said in the statement. "I know the entire Chicago White Sox organization, our staff, his teammates, and certainly White Sox fans, will rally in support of Liam and 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 said the White Sox don't expect to have an update on Hendriks' playing status "prior to Opening Day at the very earliest."

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 4% of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. The survival rate for at least five years post diagnosis is over 70%.

Hendriks, a three-time All-Star, is in the final year of a three-year, $54 million contract he signed with the White Sox after the 2020 season. He has 115 career saves and is hopeful to add to that total as soon as he's healthy.

"... I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible," Hendriks wrote on Instagram. "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."