Liam Hendriks' Tommy John Recovery Timeline Revealed for Red Sox Debut

Jun 3, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) pitches
Jun 3, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) pitches / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Boston Red Sox and Liam Hendriks agreed to a two-year contract with $10 million guaranteed if the 35-year-old passes his physical exam. Hendriks underwent Tommy John surgery last summer, and additional information has emerged regarding an expected timeline for when the three-time All-Star could make his debut in a Red Sox uniform. Tommy John surgery usually carries a recovery timetable of 15 months.

With that timeline in mind, Chris Cotillo of MassLive has reported that Hendriks is aiming for a return to the mound around the trade deadline, which is set for July 30, 2024.Per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, Boston isn't "banking" on Hendriks' availability in 2024, but feel "feel pretty good" that he will be able to pitch. Once Hendriks passes his exam, which will take place on Monday, and the deal is official, he will presumably be added to the team's 60-day injured list.

By placing Hendriks on the 60-day IL, the two-time Reliever of the Year will not take up a roster spot on the 40-man roster.

Hendriks is no stranger to managing adversity, especially relating to his health. At the end of the 2022 season, Hendriks announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Doctors believe that he had likely played the entire 2022 season with cancer. Hendriks returned to the diamond on May 29, 2023, cancer-free, and the Australian native was honored with 2023 Jimmy V ESPY Award for perseverance.

The timeline of Hendriks' return is also notable because of the trickle-down effect on current Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen. If Hendriks were available on Opening Day, this would further fuel the trade rumors surrounding Jansen, whose "trade market is still strong", per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. With 116 saves under his belt, Hendriks could have stepped into Jansen's closer role right away if healthy. This is not to say that Jansen couldn't still be moved, but rather that it is unlikely that the signing of Hendriks will impact the likelihood of a Jansen trade, at least in the immediate future.

Hendriks has earned a decorated career. In addition to his three All-Star recognitions, he has collected two All-MLB First Team nods and been named to one All-MLB second team. He has twice captured the American League Reliever of the Year Award, led the AL in saves in 2021, and was honored with the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award after beating cancer.

If anyone has the mindset to bounce back and return following an injury, it is Liam Hendriks.

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