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When will Liam Hendriks return to White Sox bullpen this season?

We’ve got the latest updates for Liam Hendriks and when he’ll return in 2023.

White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks yells after a win over the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field on Aug. 16, 2022. Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

May 7 Update — Hendriks has begun making rehab assignments and has worked his way up to Triple-A. It is being reported that he will make another rehab start on Wednesday, after which he will be re-evaluated. Hendriks has struggled so far since returning to the mound, but it isn’t expected to hinder his promotion to the big league club whenever he is ready.

April 6 update — Great news: Hendriks announced on Instagram on Wednesday that he’d officially completed his last round of chemotherapy. The righty posted a brief video of himself ringing a hospital victory bell to a round of cheers.

Still no word from Hendriks or the Chicago White Sox about a timetable for return to game action, but what matters right now is that his battle with cancer appears to have been victorious. A huge congratulations to Hendriks and his loved ones.

April 4 update — Chicago White Sox fans got a surprise gift at the team’s home opener on Monday against the San Francisco Giants, as star closer Liam Hendriks announced that he’s started his last round of chemotherapy.

“Happy Opening Day, Sox fans,” Hendriks said in a video that played on the White Sox scoreboard at Guaranteed Rate Field. “Just want to let you know I’m starting my last round of chemo today. So, I’ll see you guys on the South Side soon.”

Back on Jan. 8, the 34-year-old All-Star revealed that he’d been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and was beginning treatment. He missed all of Spring Training, but White Sox GM Rick Hahn did express cautious optimism about the Hendriks’ progress before Chicago broke camp.

Liam Hendriks injury update

Obviously, the most important thing is that Hendriks wins his battle with cancer and returns to full health. The White Sox declined to put him on the 60-day IL to start the season, suggesting the team hoped for a potential return at some point before June. There’s still a way’s to go, and Hendriks will need to build up strength and make a few Minor League appearances after missing all of spring, but assuming his treatment continues to progress it seems like he could be back closing out games on the South Side sooner than expected.

Until then, the White Sox closer situation will remain in flux, as Reynaldo Lopez hasn’t gotten off to strong start to the 2023 season. Manager Pedro Grifol seems to be giving Lopez a bit of a leash, but Aaron Bummer may be worth a speculative add as the lefty has been dominant when healthy in Chicago.