Bonds continuing rehab in Los Angeles
Still no projected date for slugger's return to action
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants slugger Barry Bonds is in Los Angeles continuing to rehab and improve the condition of his thrice surgically repaired right knee and won't rejoin the team until after the All-Star break when San Francisco opens the second half and plays a four-game series at Dodger Stadium from July 14-17.The Giants continue to remain optimistic that Bonds will play sometime this season, although they still can't put a date on it, said Ned Colletti, the team's vice president and assistant general manager, before his club played an Independence Day game against the Cincinnati Reds at SBC Park. Bonds has been working out in Los Angeles since the Giants opened a nine-game road trip in Oakland on June 24, Colletti said. At 703 homers, Bonds is third on the all-time list, 52 behind Aaron's 755 and only 11 in arrears of Babe Ruth's 714. He'll be 41 on July 24 and is under contract with the Giants through 2006. "Things have progressed," Colletti said. "His range of motion is improving. His strength is getting better. His rehab is continuing. It's all a plus right now." The move to Los Angeles, where Bonds lives during the offseason with his wife and young daughter, was precipitated by the fact that Giants assistant trainer Dave Groeschner was absent from the ballclub last week while his wife had a baby, Colletti said. Groeschner has virtually been Bonds' personal trainer since Bonds was sent home from Spring Training after surgery on March 17 to remove shredded meniscus from the ailing knee. When the Giants have traveled on the road this season, Groeschner has remained in San Francisco to work with Bonds. Because of other recovering Giants on the disabled list -- Armando Benitez (torn right hamstring), Marquis Grissom (chronic strained left hamstring) and Edgardo Alfonzo (left quadriceps strain), that practice has apparently ended and Groeschner will remain with the team for now, Colletti said. "We need all three trainers to work with our guys," he added. In lieu of Groeschner, Bonds is working out under the care of Clive Brewster, a Los Angeles-based physical therapist recommended highly by Stan Conte, the Giants' head trainer. It's clear now that the next few weeks are going to be pivotal in determining when and if Bonds comes back this season. "He obviously isn't going to be playing this week," Colletti said. "And he hasn't started baseball work yet, so I doubt very much he'll be playing in Los Angeles. So we'll see what happens after the break. We'll make another evaluation then." Before the Giants went on their last road trip, Bonds was in a phase of rehabilitation when his knee kept swelling after intense exercise. Conte said at the time that Bonds was "in a holding pattern" until that swelling could be controlled. Asked if there was still swelling in the knee, Colletti said: "There's nothing on a negative note. All I know is the key factors as far as range of motion, strength in the leg, are in all good shape." Bonds said two weeks ago that the pattern of swelling was simply the result of having undergone three procedures on the knee since Jan. 31. The first was to remove torn meniscus. So was the second, coming after Bonds had progressed far enough to take batting practice and sprint in the outfield at Scottsdale Stadium. Ultimately, a bacterial infection invaded the knee, putting his lower right leg in jeopardy. The knee was flushed with antibiotics on May 2 and Bonds has been recuperating ever since. In his most recent edition of his journal posted Friday on barrybonds.com, the injured left fielder said that his status pretty much remains the same. "Last week my knee slightly swelled, so I'll be taking it easy, sticking with range of motion and strengthening exercises," he said. "This is all part of rehabilitation, so as long as I pace myself correctly, I will be able to work through this swelling as I did with the infection. At this point in the season, my outlook is still positive."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.