Liam Hendriks makes emotional return for White Sox months after cancer battle

Just a few months after he revealed his cancer diagnosis, Liam Hendriks returned to the mound on Monday night in Chicago.

The White Sox closer made his season debut in their 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in what was an incredible, emotional scene at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Hendriks, who announced in January that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, took the mound in the eighth inning to a massive standing ovation.

Hendriks then threw a strike on his very first pitch. That ball was instantly taken out of the rotation for him.

"It was definitely emotional," Hendriks said, via the Chicago Sun Times' Daryl Van Schouwen. "It was nerve-wracking going out. Humbling and sobering seeing people in my shirts and holding my signs."

Hendriks pitched just one inning. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk.

The 34-year-old first revealed he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January, which is a form of cancer in the lymphatic system. He completed chemotherapy treatments in early April, and then announced that he was officially in remission two weeks later. By early May, the White Sox sent him on a rehab assignment with their Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.

The White Sox then finally activated him on Monday.

"He looked strong tonight," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said, via Van Schouwen. "I'm sure he'll look stronger next time out."

Though the White Sox fell on Monday night and Hendriks' performance wasn't great, it's not really that important considering what he's been through the past several months.

Hendriks is back on the mound. That's all that matters.

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