Bonds: Latest checkup was 'encouraging'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds has stepped up his
rehabilitation of his injured right knee, playing catch for the
first time since spring training and walking up the ramps of SBC
Park, the San Francisco Giants slugger reported on his Web site

Bonds, who has been giving most updates on his injury at
www.barrybonds.com, said in his more recent entry that his latest
checkup with his doctor was "encouraging."

It "showed that my knee is progressing and recovery is moving
in the right direction," Bonds wrote. "My range of motion has
increased from last week."

Bonds said the swelling has gone down in his right knee, which
has undergone three operations since Jan. 31. His latest
arthroscopic operation was May 2 to drain fluid from the knee and
examine an infection.

"This is encouraging, although there's still more tests to
go," he said. "I will be having another MRI, X-ray and blood test
done soon. If these come back normal, it looks like my
rehabilitation will continue to gradually increase over the next
few weeks."

Bonds said that he walked to the top of the ballpark with
resistance a few times Monday and walked two laps around the
field Tuesday.

"After that, I put on my glove and went out in left field and
played some catch," he said. "The last time I played catch was
during spring training, so being out in the field again was

The seven-time NL MVP said in spring training that 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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.