Bonds to miss much of spring
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 12:50 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds is expected to miss much of spring training following arthroscopic surgery Monday on his right knee, but the San Francisco Giants slugger should recover in plenty of time to resume his chase of Hank Aaron's home run record in April.
The seven-time NL MVP had a ''minor arthritis cleanup,'' the Giants said in statement. Dr. Arthur Ting also repaired a small tear in Bonds' meniscus.
Giants trainer Stan Conte expects Bonds to return for at least the final two weeks of spring training, and the 40-year-old should be back to full strength before opening day.
''It's not a situation where I'm concerned for him,'' Conte said. ''It doesn't take him long to get ready. ... It's good for him not to wear himself out during spring training, which he does sometimes.''
Bonds often tires of the day-to-day grind of spring training, both mentally and physically, and his rehabilitation might even provide a respite. Bonds, who had a similar surgery on his left knee in October, will begin rehab Tuesday.
He will report to Scottsdale, Ariz., along with the Giants' pitchers and catchers on Feb. 17, but will concentrate on his six-week rehab program until mid-March.
Conte said Bonds' knees have responded well to similar arthroscopic operations and that Bonds has ''a very youthful body for his age.''
''He recovers well,'' Conte said. ''You never know when age is going to be an issue, but this surgery was not extensive.''
Bonds' knee showed signs of arthritis during a similar operation in 1999, but this surgery revealed less trouble than the Giants feared. Bonds first complained of pain in his right knee last week.
Bonds finished last season with 703 career homers, trailing only Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).
He also became the oldest player in major league history to win an MVP award. Bonds hit .362 to win his second NL batting title in three seasons and shattered the major league record with a .609 on-base percentage, topping the previous mark of .582 he set two years ago.
He walked 232 times, 34 more than the previous record he set in 2002 and more than 100 better than anyone else in baseball this season. His 120 intentional walks obliterated the old mark of 68 that he had set in 2002.
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