Originally created 02/20/03

Bonds has 'uneventful' surgery on left elbow



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Bonds had a 10-minute operation on his left elbow Wednesday to remove a quarter-inch ball of scar tissue and suture from a previous surgery.

San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte referred to the procedure, performed by local team orthopedist Dr. David Zeman, as a "bumpectomy."

"It was uneventful, exactly as we planned," Conte said. "We didn't have to dig into the (triceps) muscle or anything else. It was right below the skin. The key to the surgery was we opened up the skin and it was right there."

The five-time NL MVP rested at home after the operation, and was expected to do some running and other cardio work Thursday, the first day of full-squad workouts for the defending NL champions.

The 38-year-old slugger is not likely to swing a bat or play in left field for three or four days, but could practice sooner. Conte said Bonds' incision was about an inch long and that Bonds had three stitches. The surrounding area was tender.

Bonds had local anesthesia, meaning his elbow was numbed. He also was under some sedation. There was a 30-minute recovery period for Bonds before he was allowed to go home, Conte said.

The scar tissue was irritating Bonds when he rested his elbow, not when he worked out, Conte said. Bonds complained of tenderness to Conte after arriving at camp Tuesday.

The pain stemmed from surgery in 1999, when doctors repaired a tear in Bonds' left triceps and removed a bone spur from the back of his elbow.

Bonds' teammates know he will be ready to play soon.

"Barry's always been a gamer," new center fielder Marquis Grissom said. "He always goes out and wants to play and he will do whatever he has to do to get back on the field. I think of him as a great competitor. You look at what he's done over the course of his career and how bad he wants to win that ring, I don't think anything is going to stop him from coming back and doing what he's supposed to do. He's probably hurt half his career, playing in pain. I don't think he'll be out long."

Bonds lost in his first World Series last season when the Anaheim Angels beat the Giants in seven games. Bonds won his first batting title with a .370 average and his record fifth MVP award.

He was walked a major league record 198 times in 2002. He hit .471 with four home runs and six RBIs in the first World Series and was walked 13 times.

Bonds is ready to make another run at a title, with many new faces around him, including Grissom and right fielder Jose Cruz Jr.

"If we all do our job, anything can happen. No one really knew how good we were going to be last year and we ended up in that final game of the World Series," Bonds said. "We've got a lot of young guys here, speed, but time tells. You can't predict the future, so you don't know."