Bonds: Latest checkup was 'encouraging'

Updated: June 2, 2005, 12:34 PM ET news services

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 Wednesday.

Bonds, who has been giving most updates on his injury at, 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 great."

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.