Barry Bonds now says there is a good chance he could play for the 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's Web site before last 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.

Earlier this month, Bonds, 41, 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.

* BELTRAN SAYS NO TO SURGERY: Carlos Beltran decided he would not have surgery to repair a minimally displaced facial fracture he got last week in a violent outfield collision with Mets teammate Mike Cameron. Instead, Beltran will try to play and the Mets will attempt to design some protection, perhaps a mask, for the injury.

Beltran planned on going through a full workout before last night's game against Pittsburgh and if he feels no ill effects, he could return to action later this week.

-- From News Services

Barry Bonds, shown in 2004, said there is a good chance he could play this season.