SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds might play into the 2007 season if he's approaching Hank Aaron's home run record of 755, the Giants
slugger told MLB.com.
The seven-time NL MVP, who turns 41 on July 24, hasn't played this season as he recovers from three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31. He is progressing in his rehab and still hopes to play before the end of the year.
He knows he might need to play beyond 2006 when his contract expires to reach Aaron's record, and he has said he hopes to retire with the Giants. Bonds has 703 career homers, 11 shy of Babe Ruth and 52 from tying Aaron's record.
"I've played all these scenarios over and over again in my
head," Bonds was quoted as saying. "I've always thought it would
take the better part of two seasons before I passed Hank. If I'm
within striking distance in 2007, I plan to play. Who knows how
important Hank's record is? But as long as I'm healthy, I want to
give it a try. ... It might not be here. But I'd hope the Giants
would still want me. I'd like to finish my career in this shirt."
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. He has been upbeat lately and eager to rejoin his teammates and take the pressure off them.
He may be healthy enough to travel for next week's road trip to Arizona and San Diego.