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Giants have no timetable for return

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A mental break away from everybody
might be just what Barry Bonds needs right now.

Exhausted and testy, the San Francisco slugger returned to the
Bay Area on Thursday to continue rehabilitating his surgically
repaired right knee because the Giants believe SBC Park is better
suited for him than the team's spring complex.

There is no timetable for Bonds' return. The seven-time NL MVP
said Tuesday he could miss half or all this season while recovering
from the surgery, though the Giants are hoping he'll be coming back
sooner.

"Anybody who thinks Barry Bonds is going to quit doesn't know
Barry Bonds. There's no way," trainer Stan Conte said. "When
somebody has a second surgery, it's a little discouraging. And
that's called being a human being."

Bonds, who has had two operations on his right knee in the last
two months and also had surgery on his left knee in October, flew
back to San Francisco with assistant trainer Dave Groeschner.

Bonds, at the center of the steroids scandal, said earlier this
spring it was frustrating not to be with his teammates and on their
schedule. On Tuesday, he blamed media scrutiny for his problems.

Bonds is third on the career home run list with 703, trailing
only Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755).

"Barry really didn't want to leave his teammates," Conte said.
"He was very much more upbeat yesterday being around the guys."

Bonds will work in a therapeutic pool at SBC Park that will
allow him to do cardiovascular training without putting pressure on
the knee. He wasn't scheduled to do any rehab Thursday.

"You have to appreciate the fact he's had three knee surgeries
since the end of last season and two in the last seven weeks. That
takes a lot out of you," Conte said. "Usually it's a little
slower process to begin with. That's also the reason we really have
no timetable on this thing."

Conte said he's not yet sure whether Bonds will travel with the
team once the season begins April 5.

The Giants took into consideration that with 40 players packed
into the tight quarters at Scottsdale Stadium and many needing
treatment, Bonds could get more personal attention elsewhere.

"Barry's kind of an important person on this team," Conte
said. "We think that he deserves that concentration level of being
up there and the utilization of state-of-the-art equipment at SBC
Park."

Bonds was defiant the day he arrived at spring training Feb. 22,
calling reporters liars and saying "I don't know what cheating
is" when responding to a flurry of questions related to the
steroids controversy.

On Tuesday, his emotions came out again.

"I'm tired of my kids crying," he said. "You wanted me to
jump off a bridge, I finally did. You finally brought me and my
family down. ... So now go pick a different person."

Bonds had 45 homers and 101 RBI last season and also walked 232
times in 147 games.