HOUSTON -- Astros reliever Josh Zeid has been fighting through pain in both of his feet for most of the last year and a half, opting to push himself on the pitcher's mound while trying to ignore the discomfort that constantly reminded him that something wasn't quite right.
That has all come to a halt in light of the news that Zeid will undergo surgery on both feet, six weeks apart. The procedure, called a sesamoidectomy, was scheduled to take place on his left foot on Wednesday at The Methodist Hospital Outpatient Center.
The second surgery, on his right foot, will take place in six weeks after the first one. Ideally, the recovery period will be three months, at which time Zeid should be able to resume pitching-related workouts.
"This could be a reccurring problem every year, for the next 10, 15 years if that's how long I can play," Zeid said. "Everyone made the right decision. The doctor thought that was the best choice for us, stopping now and start the process."
Zeid was placed on the disabled list on Friday with bilateral sesamoiditis. Though it's unusual to come down with the same malady in both feet, there is no genetic reason behind why he has this issue. Zeid said the doctors were surprised to discover the same injury in each foot.
"No family reason, no medical reason why it should be in both feet," he said. "Baseball is a violent sport on your feet, [with] metal spikes, and I'm a bigger guy. There's a lot of beating that goes on your feet."
Catcher Jason Castro had the same procedure on his left foot over the winter following the 2011 season.
Zeid will be on crutches for a while, which he predicted will be "super annoying."
"Having to use crutches for more than a month, month and a half combined, with both feet, you're just really limited," he said. "They say I'm going to have to learn how to use my toes again. I know how to use them pretty well now, but everything's going to change."
If there is a silver lining, it's that the timing of the surgery should allow Zeid to be healthy when it's time to report to Spring Training.
"If we waited any longer, and it was something that was done at the end of the year, looking at the amount of time that he would need to recover, it would linger into next year," manager Bo Porter said. "You just look at all the parameters around it -- it was continuing to bother him more and more, we just felt like getting it done now and go through all of the recovery and be ready for Spring Training next year."
Zeid said he apologized to his teammates for trying to pitch through the injury, which likely affected his performance.
"I hated going out there and not giving my team what they deserved," he said. "Just playing through it -- they deserved better than that. I look forward to next year and putting my best foot forward -- both my feet forward -- and just being able to help out."