Jose Canseco won't need surgery for his ailing back, but questions remain about whether he'll aggravate the problem when he starts swinging a bat again in the spring.

The Oakland slugger, benched in the final game of the World Series because of poor hitting related to his back injury, got some good news Thursday when doctors decided he should skip surgery in favor of exercises and physical therapy.Canseco, who signed a $23.5 million, five-year contract extension in June, suffered shooting pains down his right leg during the final months of the season because of a bulging disk in his back.

The condition was aggravated by the twisting motion of batting, and could be alleviated only by a combination of rest and rehabilitation or surgery.

After evaluation by Dr. Allan Pont and Dr. Rick Bost, the Athletics' team physicians, and two back specialists, it was determined that surgery was not necessary at this time.