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Bonds says he'll be out a while
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Leaning his head on a crutch and repeatedly saying he was tired, Barry Bonds said he might miss the entire season following his latest knee surgery.
"Right now I'm just going to try to rehab myself to get back to, I don't know, hopefully next season, hopefully the middle of the season. I don't know. Right now I'm just going to take things slow," he said Tuesday after meeting with San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte for 1 1/2 hours.
"I'm 40 years old, not 20, 30."
Conte said Bonds went through a "normal rehab six days out of surgery" on Tuesday and that his knee looked as expected.
"I expect he'll progress as knee patients go," the trainer said, offering no prediction of when Bonds might be able to play again.
The seven-time NL MVP, who begins the season third on the career homers list with 703, returned to spring camp Tuesday following last week's surgery. He made his remarks while sitting at a picnic table outside the Giants' clubhouse with his 15-year-old son, Nikolai, at his side.
Bonds said he was tired and disappointed following a winter in which he was accused of steroid use, his grand jury testimony was leaked and he had two knee operations. He blamed his troubles on the media.
"You wanted me to jump off a bridge, I finally did," Bonds said. "You finally brought me and my family down. ... So now go pick a different person."
Bonds had his latest surgery last Thursday in the Bay Area. Though the Giants have not set a timetable for his return, Conte has said it's unlikely he'll be ready for opening day.
"My son and I are just going to enjoy our lives. You guys wanted to hurt me bad enough, you finally got me," Bonds said. "I'm mentally drained. I'm tired of my kids crying."
Teammate Moises Alou, who has had five surgeries, said Bonds probably was just having a bad day.
"Maybe today he was not very optimistic. I think it was one of those rehab days where you just caught him on one of the bad days," Alou said. "It's not fun when you come to the ballpark, then have to go to the training room to get taped and get treatment.
"It's not as fun as when you are young and wild and doing things, especially when you are the man."
Bonds trails only Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) on the career home run list. He hit a season-record 73 in 2001.
Last September, the Giants dropped a provision that would have allowed them to void Bonds' $18 million salary in 2006 if he failed to reach 500 plate appearances this year or 1,500 combined from 2003 to 2005, including at least 400 this year.