Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) - San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds returned to the team's spring training complex on Tuesday to begin rehab for his latest round of knee surgery and told reporters he could be sidelined until mid-season or could miss the entire 2005 campaign altogether.
"I'm just going to try to rehab myself back to...I don't know, hopefully next season, hopefully middle of the season, I don't know. Right now I'm just going to take things slow," Bonds said Tuesday with crutches in hand.
Bonds had an arthroscopic procedure on March 17 for a debridement of tears in the medial and lateral menisci of his right knee. It was the second operation on the knee in less than two months, as he also had a minor arthritis cleanup and small meniscus tear repaired on January 31.
Surgery was also performed on Bonds' left knee last October, and he has been under a microscope from the media during spring training because of the BALCO controversy and baseball's steroids frenzy.
"I'm tired, just tired," Bonds remarked with his son at his side. "I really don't have much to say anymore. My son and I are just going to enjoy our lives. My family's tired. You guys [media] wanted to hurt me bad enough, you finally got there."
Bonds' chase of the home run record will now have to wait. Last year he became the third player to reach the 700-club and his 703 career homers trail only Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) on the all-time list.
"I'm going to try to let myself heal, I'm 40 years old not 20 or 30," Bonds added. "I have a lot of work to do to try to get back for these guys [teammates]. I don't know if I'm going to be back yet."
The 40-year-old Bonds captured his seventh National League MVP award last season, hitting .362 with 45 homers and 101 runs batted in despite just 373 official at-bats. He broke his own major league record by walking 232 times.