Berry back after kidney surgery
Astros hitting coach feeling good, will monitor his energy
HOUSTON -- Hitting coach Sean Berry is back with the Astros as they return to Houston for a 10-game homestand.
After undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous kidney on May 8, the 43-year-old will ease back into his role as hitting coach, but overall he says he feels great and is excited to get back working with the team.
"I'm tired of trying to jump into the television screens," Berry said. "It's tough going through what I went through but even tougher being away from this group of guys and leaving them hanging for three weeks."
Berry, who seemed to be in high spirits in interviews with the media prior to Monday night's game against the Rockies, first began experiencing discomfort in his kidney area earlier this month while the Astros were in Atlanta. He was diagnosed with a tumor on May 6 after experiencing severe pain. He originally thought it resulted from kidney stones, but after discovering blood in his urine, he scheduled an appointment with Dr. Richard Goldfarb upon the team's return to Houston.
Dr. Goldfarb performed the surgery at The Methodist Hospital, taking out the cancerous right kidney just a few days after the diagnosis. The surgery left Berry with a 2-3 inch scar.
"Somebody was looking out after me," Berry said. "A lot of times when they find it, it's a little too late and the tumor has gotten into some of the blood supply and spreads everywhere.
"I feel pretty fortunate and pretty lucky. I got great support from everyone. It's been not so much eye opening but just a little speed bump, and I'm ready to get back to helping out and winning some ball games."
Berry has spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues and is in his fourth year as Houston's hitting coach.
In his absence, third-base coach Dave Clark pulled double duty and took over as hitting coach. Clark was the Pirates' hitting coach in 2001-02.
"Dave Clark did an excellent job," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "But it's terrific and great to have Sean back. The doctors just told him don't go all day every day. He's going to have to really monitor himself."
Taking it easy won't be easy for Berry, who is accustomed to being a part of batting practice, but he says he'll do his best to change the little things in his lifestyle.
"If there are times where I feel a little out of it, I'll just have to take some time out and go sit down for an inning or two. I can't throw any batting practice and no more 12-hour days," Berry said. "There are just few things I have to change. I have to watch my red-meat intake and no more popping Advil like candy."
Jason Grodsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.