Hendriks has Tommy John, to miss at least 12 months

August 3rd, 2023

ARLINGTON -- ' 2023 season has come to an unfortunate close.

The White Sox closer, who won his battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this season, underwent successful surgery on Wednesday morning to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in a procedure performed by Dr. Keith Meister at TMI Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery in Arlington, Texas. The recovery time for Hendriks, 34, is expected to be between 12-14 months.

Anyone who knows Hendriks’ resolve, though, would wager on the low side of that timetable.

Hendriks began the season on the injured list to continue his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he publicly revealed through his Instagram on January 8. He completed treatment on April 3 and announced he was cancer-free on April 20.

On May 29, Hendriks made his return to action against the Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field during a very emotional night, with his wife, Kristi, in attendance. Hendriks allowed two runs on three hits. On the season, he gave up three runs on four hits over five innings with three strikeouts, one walk and one save.

With a smile on his face, Hendriks has pointed out previously how the White Sox are 4-1 during games in which he has pitched in ‘23. Hendriks was placed on the 15-day injured list on June 11 (retroactive to June 10) with right elbow inflammation.

His desire to give back didn’t lessen even as he worked through this injury. At his request, the right-hander has met with individuals who have battled or are battling cancer at every visiting ballpark, and countless times at home.

The 2023 ESPY Awards honored Hendriks with the Jimmy V Award for perseverance. In speaking about the award after his speech, Hendriks was excited to do work with the Jimmy V Foundation.

“When I found out what it was, I immediately researched it,” Hendriks said in Atlanta, after attending the awards over the All-Star break. “The work they’ve done has been incredible. I think it’s over $300 million of pledges granted since they’ve started it. The fatality rate has decreased by 30 percent. It’s now 32 percent increase in survival rate since the V Foundation started up. It’s not all them, but they’ve had a very significant part of that. 

“All we can do is raise awareness and funding. My thing is, I look at it from a person who is going through it standpoint, rather than a medical side of it. The positivity that’s needed."

“Having people reach out,” Hendriks added. “Knowing people are thinking about you when you are going through that. It’s a very lonely feeling when going through stuff like this. The more people who can reach out, a text message who can brighten someone’s day, can really mean the difference.”

Hendriks' three-year, $54 million contract includes a $15 million option for 2024 with an identical $15 million buyout. It is structured so that if the White Sox decline the option, the buyout is paid out in 10 installments of $1.5 million through ‘33.

Gregory Santos has taken over as the White Sox closer, but he still relies on Hendriks for guidance. 

“He said whatever I need, he’s there for me,” said Santos through interpreter Billy Russo. “I am definitely going to take his word. If I need any advice or something I know that he can give me, I will ask him.”