Barry Bonds, backtracking from his earlier retirement talk, as quoted by’s Barry M. Bloom.

“If I can play [in 2007], I’m going to play; if I can’t I won’t,” Bonds told in a telephone interview Sunday. “If my knee holds up, I’ll keep on going. 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. Back and forth every day. These are the things that are going through my mind. This is what I’m struggling with.”

Bonds said he thought he was having a personal conversation with the USA Today reporter involved and was just trying to portray the state of his own mind on that particular day.

“The brace feels great, it’s awesome,” said Bonds, who will turn 42 on July 24. “Right now, I feel like I can play for another five years, another 10 years. It’s given me a new lease on life. That’s how I’m feeling today. I’m ready to get going.”

The SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman writes that as usual, the Giants learn about this stuff after Barry’s made a public statement.

Once again, Bonds caught the Giants by surprise. Sources said Bonds didn’t inform anyone in the team’s hierarchy that 2006 would be it.

“Until Barry tells a member of the Giants’ organization he’s retiring, we have no comment,” team spokesman Matt Hodson said. Calls to Giants executives were not returned.

Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, told The Chronicle he was not aware Bonds had told USA Today he planned to retire. Asked if Bonds really felt that way, Borris said, “I’ve talked to Barry about the topic. At this point and time, I’d rather keep my conversations with Barry private.”