No structural damage to closer Liam Hendriks’ right elbow, but White Sox won’t rush him back

“I need to be cognizant of the way my body reacts and feels with everything,” Hendriks said. “I still don’t have the strongest immune system, and there’s a lot of other things going on in my body.”

SHARE No structural damage to closer Liam Hendriks’ right elbow, but White Sox won’t rush him back
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks talks to reporters in the visitors dugout at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

White Sox closer Liam Hendriks talks to reporters in the visitors dugout at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

Daryl Van Schouwen/Sun-Times

LOS ANGELES — White Sox closer Liam Hendriks said his right elbow is structurally good — or ‘‘goodish for me,’’ as he put it Tuesday. So that’s encouraging.

But he won’t be rushing his way back to the Sox’ bullpen in typical Hendriks fashion.

‘‘There’s no strain down there,’’ Hendriks said, speaking publicly for the first time since he landed on the 15-day injured list Sunday with inflammation in the elbow. ‘‘Just a little bit of fluid buildup back here. . . . Hopefully we get that out of there, and it’s all back to normal from there.’’

Hendriks said he has been sore since before his first rehab assignment last month. But doctors told him the ligament looked better than it did last June, when he missed three weeks with a strained flexor.

‘‘Take that for what it’s worth,’’ he said. ‘‘Shut down for throwing for a little bit, but hopefully I get this back and don’t miss too much time.’’

Hendriks received a cortisone shot Sunday and will get a platelet-rich plasma injection in the next couple of days, he said. Hendriks, who made his season debut May 29 after undergoing treatment for Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, needed clearance from his oncologist for those.

Knowing Hendriks has fought a grueling battle with cancer and climbed back to pitching form, the Sox won’t be tempted to hurry him backs, even though his absence is a significant blow to the bullpen.

‘‘[Hendriks will] continue to see the doctors and do his thing,’’ manager Pedro Grifol said before right-hander Lance Lynn yielded four runs on two home runs in the first inning of the Sox’ 5-1 loss to the Dodgers. ‘‘We’re optimistic about it, but we’ll see. It’s one of those where it will take a little bit, but at least there’s some optimism that he might be back.’’

Hendriks said he couldn’t make a fist after his last outing Friday against the Marlins.

‘‘Definitely worried me a little bit because I know that I don’t have the greatest integrity of an elbow, the mileage I put on it and everything like that,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s always a little concerning. But after I got the scans done, I was cautiously optimistic. And once I got the readings done, it was a sigh of relief.’’

Hendriks pushed through health issues last season, but he said: ‘‘I think I need to be cognizant of the way my body reacts and feels with everything. Just due to the fact I still don’t have the strongest immune system and there’s a lot of other things going on in my body.’’

Clevinger vs. Dodgers

Sox right-hander Mike Clevinger, who will start Wednesday, faced the Dodgers three times with the Padres last season, going 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA.

In two starts against the Dodgers in a six-day span in September, Clevinger allowed nine runs, nine hits and three walks in 8⅓ innings.

Ground zero

Shortstop Tim Anderson and left fielder Andrew Benintendi still are looking for their first homers of the season.

‘‘You know, Benintendi hasn’t been healthy,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘He’s had some hand issues, had some stuff.’’

Grifol noted Benintendi’s on-base percentage (.345 entering Tuesday) and his outfield play.

‘‘He’s getting to a place where he’s feeling good,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘He doesn’t concern me at all.’’

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