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Updated: April 9th, 2012 8:20pm
Liam Hendriks returns after food poisoning forces hospital stay

Liam Hendriks returns after food poisoning forces hospital stay

by Judd Zulgad
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MINNEAPOLIS - Liam Hendriks was scheduled to start for the Minnesota Twins on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Instead the righthanded pitcher ended up spending the weekend in a Baltimore hospital being treated for food poisoning.

"That wasn't fun, that wasn't fun," Hendriks said after being discharged from the hospital early Monday afternoon and taking a flight home to rejoin the Twins. "I started feeling unwell on Friday night just after the game and my fiancée and I went to the hospital before midnight. I had been in there a while and I'm feeling a lot better today."

Hendriks, who is from Perth, Australia, said he is uncertain exactly what made him so ill that he had to spend three nights in the hospital but confirmed it wasn't Baltimore's famous crab cakes.

"I stay away from the crab cakes," he said, talking to reporters after returning to the clubhouse during the Twins' 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. "I'm not a big sea food fan unless I'm back in Australia where I know the places where it's fresh. (I have) no idea where (the bad food was) from. (It might be) a couple of different places. I'm just feeling good to be back. Back in Minnesota where I know where it's safe to eat."

Hendriks, who was 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in his first four big-league starts for the Twins last season, weighed himself upon his return to Target Field on Monday and said he had not lost any weight. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds in the Twins media guide but said his current weight is around 213 pounds.

The Twins' plan for Hendriks is now uncertain and manager Ron Gardenhire and the training staff will need to get a look at him. With Hendriks unavailable to start in place of Scott Baker (elbow) on Sunday, Anthony Swarzak got the opportunity and pitched well. Swarzak gave up one run on four hits in five innings in a 3-1 loss.

"I was just disappointed," Hendriks said of not being able to pitch. "I was telling my fiancée for about two hours (on Friday), I'm like, 'I'm not going to the hospital, I'm not going to the hospital.' And then I ended up throwing up again and it was like, 'All right, now we have to go.'

"I wasn't able to watch the Sunday game either. It wasn't on TV in the hospital. I was keeping track of the game on my phone, and I heard Swarzak threw well and unfortunately we weren't able to walk away with a win."

The Twins (0-4) have an off day Tuesday before resuming their three-game series against the Angels on Wednesday, but Hendriks plans to be at Target Field to do some light running and throwing.

"I'm feeling really strong," he said. "I went out there and walked a lot, so I'm feeling strong, feeling good. I've got my appetite back. I was walking through the airport (Monday) and was craving everything so that's always good. I'm feeling good and tomorrow we'll see how it goes." 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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