Friday, February 24, 2006

Bonds' Drug Regimen Precipitates Health Woes

As Giants slugger Barry Bonds contemplates whether he'll be able to play 100 games this year, more pressing long-term questions are appearing on the horizon. Bonds now deals with degenerative, post-traumatic arthritis as a result of his knee surgery. His need for non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory analgesics, augmented by mild narcotics when excessive pain arises, doesn't bode well for his health outlook over the short or long term. Bonds' pain at times is more than merely uncomfortable. It is perhaps almost unbearable given that he is taking sleep-inducing sedatives to get through the night. The '05 season and the persuit of Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's homerun marks may soon seem trivial to Bonds compared to the prospect of living with pain for the rest of his life. Worse, Bonds may one day be forced to confront the frightening, long-term possibility, however remote, of more surgery or potentially even a consideration of knee replacement sometime before his 60th birthday should the pain worsen significantly and simple ambulation become impeded.