Bonds: 'My leg is good. It's getting better'

Updated: May 27, 2005, 1:13 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds hopes he's close to decreasing his daily dose of antibiotics to a single pill.

Bonds will have a routine blood test Friday to make sure the San Francisco slugger is progressing from the antibiotics he's taking to control the infection in his surgically repaired right knee.

"My leg is good. It's getting better," he told The Associated Press on Thursday, giving a thumbs-up sign and a grin. "I will have my blood tested tomorrow. It's the test I have every two weeks."

Bonds is still taking a number of pills each day -- "I can't even count," he said -- to attack the infection in his troublesome knee after undergoing three operations since Jan. 31.

His optimism is especially noteworthy considering how serious the infection could have been. On his Web site, www.barrybonds.com, Bonds described how he felt in the initial stages after beginning the antibiotics.

"I thought I was going to die," he wrote on the site in a posting Tuesday. "The medication was so strong, it made me sick and I literally just slept for days. The doctors had told me that if my bone got infected, there was a possibility that I could lose my leg. I wanted everyone to understand how serious my situation was and all I wanted to do is focus on my health, not when I was coming back on the field."

Bonds wouldn't confirm an ESPN.com report that he was among several Giants players given an unannounced drug test by the league Wednesday.

"It doesn't matter unless it's positive, and you'll know [if it is]," he said with a smile.

The 40-year-old Bonds walked up the stairs to the clubhouse with few signs of a limp, even carrying a bat -- though he didn't use it.

His rehabilitation recently has included regaining range of motion in his knee through light resistance exercises. His latest arthroscopic operation was May 2 to drain fluid from the knee and examine the infected area.

The seven-time NL MVP said in spring training he could miss half the season or even the entire year, but he has been more upbeat lately as his health improves. The Giants believe he realistically could return around the All-Star break -- perhaps in time for his 41st birthday July 24.

Bonds is third on the career home run list with 703, 11 behind Babe Ruth and 52 from tying Hank Aaron's record. Bonds batted .362 last season with 45 homers and 101 RBI and walked a major league-record 232 times on the way to his record seventh MVP award.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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