Liam Hendriks Undergoes Tommy John Surgery for Elbow Injury


Liam Hendriks
Liam Hendriks led the American League in saves in 2021, with 38. Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
In a remarkable story from the 2023 MLB season, Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, who made a triumphant return to the mound after battling cancer, recently underwent Tommy John surgery as announced by the team. Unfortunately, this means he will miss the remainder of the season while he focuses on recovering from the procedure.
Earlier this year, Hendriks defied the odds when he made a comeback to the majors just four months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Following chemotherapy during the offseason and being declared cancer-free in late April, he began a rehab assignment and eventually made his return on May 29. The emotional moment captured the hearts of fans as they gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name.
However, the journey has not been without its challenges. Hendriks’ fastball velocity was down 2.2 mph compared to last season, and his performance in the five appearances before the injury showed a 5.40 ERA. Nonetheless, he did have three scoreless outings in those appearances.
Unfortunately, the surgery now casts doubt on Hendriks’ MLB future. The White Sox hold a $15 million team option on the 34-year-old at the end of this season, but the surgery likely means they will decline it, making Hendriks a free agent. While teams have signed players coming off Tommy John surgery to multiyear deals before, his age could raise concerns about his long-term prospects as a reliever in his mid-30s.
Despite the challenges, it would be unwise for teams to underestimate Hendriks. Given the immense determination he has shown to overcome adversity and get back on the mound in 2023, there is a strong chance he could make a successful return and continue delivering impressive performances in the latter part of the MLB season.

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