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White Sox closer Liam Hendriks to be activated after beating stage 4 cancer

It took about half a year for Liam Hendriks to go from battling a serious form of cancer to returning to the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox announced Sunday that Hendriks will be activated Monday after spending the first two months of the season on the injured list battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hendriks, who first announced his diagnosis in early January, confirmed the news with an Instagram post showing the big date.

The White Sox welcomed the moment with a montage featuring Hendriks' teammates and coaches welcoming him back to the club.

Hendriks completed his chemotherapy April 5 and announced he was officially in remission two weeks later. It took another couple of weeks for the White Sox to send him on a rehab assignment, putting him back in action May 3.

In six games with Chicago's Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, Hendriks allowed six earned runs in five innings while striking out five and walking one. Once the rehab stint was over, Hendriks threw three live batting practice sessions with the White Sox, per MLB.com.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 03: Liam Hendriks #31 of the Chicago White Sox takes questions from reporters before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 03, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Hendriks spoke publicly for the first time about his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and his return to the White Sox. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Liam Hendriks' return is welcome news for the White Sox. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Hendriks' return will be welcome news for a team that currently sits at 22-33 and in fourth place in the AL Central. Chicago's bullpen holds the fifth-highest ERA in MLB at 4.87 while throwing the fourth-most innings. No player on the team has more than four saves.

Hendriks, a three-time All-Star and two-time AL Reliever of the Year, is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.81 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings, with 37 saves in 41 opportunities. He led the AL in saves in 2021, with 38.

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