Report: White Sox Could Get Closer Back Before Long

Naturally, baseball isn't the priority right now for Liam Hendriks as he continues his treatment for cancer. But a new report from Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn indicates that he could be back by June. 

Hahn told reporters that Hendriks is making encouraging progress in his recovery, and was not placed on the 60-day IL "on purpose", which can only mean that he's at least holding out the possibility that the closer could return by the end of May. 

There was no timeline given at all when Hendriks made his troubling announcement in January that he was beginning treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. "I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible," Hendriks posted on social media at the time.

Hendriks has been seen around the South Siders' training camp in Glendale, Ariz. over the past few weeks, and starting pitcher Lance Lynn offered a little insight on a podcast recently. 

"We hope to get him back by June if everything is perfect," Lynn said. "In his mind, he'll be back in May. I was like, 'Well, we'll see.' He goes, 'Oh, I'll be ready as soon as they give me the go.'"

Another teammate, Lucas Giolito said earlier this spring about seeing him at camp, “(He’s) in the same exact spirits, the same exact Liam that we all know and love.  We’re just looking forward to him kicking cancer’s ass and coming back to close games for us.”

Certainly, every baseball fan, White Sox supporters or not, will be thrilled to see the talented, inspirational and well-loved Aussie recovered and back on the mound. 

Photo: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports