SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Barry Bonds now says there’s a good chance he could play for the San Francisco Giants this season because his bad knee is doing better.

“Two weeks ago things didn’t look too promising, but the past 10 days my rehab has taken a turn for the better,” he wrote in a new entry on his Web site.

“My strength and endurance have increased and my knee is feeling much better. I have been playing catch and in the next few weeks I hope to be in the cage doing some hitting. There is a good possibility that I could be back in September with the team, but, if not, I will definitely be in the 2006 lineup,” he wrote.

Giants manager Felipe Alou was cautiously optimistic as he looked at a printout from Bonds’ Web site before Tuesday night’s game at Cincinnati.

“There’s nothing new there,” Alou said. “He says he’s taking BP. I guess it’s better than no BP at all.”

“I had lost all hope. Now, after seeing it, I’m going back to having confidence and hope,” he said.

The Giants (51-66) have struggled without Bonds, but were still only seven games behind San Diego in the weak NL West heading into the game against the Reds.

Earlier this month, Bonds told that he didn’t expect to play this year because of an injured right knee that has been operated on three times since Jan. 31.

Bonds, who turned 41 last month, has 703 home runs, third on the career list behind Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755). Carlton Fisk’s 53 homers are the most any player has hit after turning 41, and that is exactly the number Bonds needs to break Aaron’s record.

Bonds batted .362 last season with 45 homers and 101 RBIs and walked a major league-record 232 times on the way to his record seventh MVP award.

His most recent operation was May 2 to drain fluid and examine an infection. The All-Star left fielder also said he would continue to follow the advice of Dr. Lewis Yocum and physical therapist Clive Brewster, who have been directing his rehabilitation in Los Angeles.

“He’s a super hitter, but we play in the National League,” Alou said. “You’ve got to practice out in the field, too. I know he’s not going to have any problems hitting the baseball. He never did. It’s the other parts of the game, after not doing it since October of last year.”

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