Bonds has 'minor arthritis cleanup'

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

The seven-time NL MVP had a "minor arthritis cleanup," the
Giants said in a 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

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 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.