Liam Hendriks, Chicago White Sox Pitcher, Makes Post-Cancer Treatment Debut with Confidence

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It’s been no easy road for Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendricks, but he’s all the way back. And feeling good, he says.

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Hendricks took the mound for the first time since undergoing treatment for stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a disease that was revealed for Hendricks back in January. He announced in April that he was in remission — and pitched for the first time this season in a 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Hendricks, 34, pitched one inning and received several standing ovations from the home crowd. But that’s not all. Both the White Sox and Angels players cheered for Hendricks when he entered the game. Yes, the Angels players cheered, too. His return was a leaguewide celebration.

“It was humbling going out there and seeing the amount of people wearing my shirts, the amount of people having signs or flags or anything like that — the amount of people that were chanting when I came into the game,” Hendriks told reporters after the game.

Liam Hendriks Gets Standing Ovation

He underwent both both immunotherapy and chemotherapy following the diagnosis.

“You never think you will be the one who hears ‘you have cancer’ but there I was … in shock and fear not knowing what comes next,” he wrote in a social media post last month.

Hendricks threw 27 pitches and gave up two runs in his return. But that did not deter the crowd from giving him another ovation following his one inning.

“It was great being back out there,” Hendriks told reporters. “Getting back, putting cleats on, running out, doing all that. I felt good, I felt strong, I felt comfortable out there. Unfortunately for me, I just wasn’t able to get the two-strike pitch where I wanted to.”

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said Henricks’ return was inspirational for more than just Hendricks.

“What he’s done and how he’s done it has been remarkable,” Grifol told reporters. “It’s an inspiration to everybody on this club, it’s an inspiration to everybody who follows the game and knows of Liam.”

Read More: Tiny First Baseman Can’t Help but Bust a Move in the Middle of the Game

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