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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 06:05 GMT
Bonds happy to continue playing
Barry Bonds at a recent golf event
Bonds had earlier said the 2006 season would be his last
Baseball great Barry Bonds says he could change his mind about retiring from major league baseball.

The 41-year-old San Francisco Giants slugger was quoted in the USA Today newspaper saying that he would quit the sport after the 2006 season.

But Bonds said he thought he was having a personal conversation with a reporter and would now like to carry on.

"If I can play in 2007, I'm going to play. If my knee holds up, I'll keep going," he told

"I'm playing psychological games with myself right now. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment if things don't work out this season.

"So I go back and forth. These are the things that are going through my mind. This is what I'm struggling with."

Bonds is within reach of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth on the all-time career home run list.

He played in just 14 games last season after three knee operations and will enter the 2006 season on 708 home runs, six behind Ruth (714) and 47 behind Aaron's all-time mark of 755.

Since I don't have a contract for next year, then this could be my last year
Barry Bonds

But he was quoted in USA Today newspaper that the record was not a motivation.

"I'm not playing baseball anymore after this," Bonds said. "I've never cared about records anyway, so what difference does it make?

"Right now, I'm telling you, I don't even want to play next year. Baseball is a fun sport. But I'm not having fun."

Bonds will earn $18m in the final season of his five-year contract with the Giants and is expected to report to their spring training facility at Scottsdale, Arizona on Tuesday.

"All I can say is that I have a contract for this year, so as far as I know, I'm committed through this year," Bonds added on

"If my knee doesn't hold up, then it's over. But if it does, I'll keep going.

"No one can predict what's going to happen. Even I can't speculate until I get out there. I'm going to be 42 years old. I've got to be realistic. Since I don't have a contract for next year, then this could be my last year."

The seven-time National League MVP said he was worn out by all of the negative attention he has received regarding suspicions he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds testified before a federal grand jury investigating illegal steroids distribution in 2003.

"I'm clean, I've always been clean," Bonds added. "The game (isn't) fun anymore. I'm tired of all of the crap going on."

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