Jose Canseco says surgery may be the only alternative for his ailing left hand.

That could push back the long-awaited comeback of the American League MVP at least another month.Canseco reinjured his left wrist Sunday on the second day of his rehabilitation assignment with the Huntsville Stars, the Oakland Athletics' Class AA farm team.

"It's painful," he said after the game. "I'm getting a sharp pain and movement is minimal at best, so it's pretty bad."

Canseco, who was 1-for-4 Saturday night, grounded to second in his first at-bat Sunday and then reinjured the wrist when he singled in the third inning against Jacksonville. He was clearly in pain as he ran to first on the RBI single and said later that he thought the wrist was fractured.

"The next step is to have it operated on and have the bone taken out," said Canseco, who began the season on the disabled list with a stress fracture of the hamate bone in his left wrist.

He said the wrist was partially fractured before but that he now felt much more pain.

"It was a slight fracture and I couldn't determine if it was healing or not," he said. "That's what we were trying to find out."

Canseco said surgery probably would delay his return to Oakland at least another month.

"I've never had that type of operation before," he said. "I think I'm looking at three to five weeks. I really couldn't tell you."

Canseco said he was scheduled to return to Oakland today and would have X-rays taken Tuesday.

"The only thing that will determine anything will be X-rays," he said. "We're going to have to wait for the results."

Canseco obviously was discouraged by his latest setback, but tried to remain optimistic.

"I've had a cast on for one month," he said. "I been rehabing it for a week and a half. If it hasn't healed by then, obviously it's going to give me problems throughout the season.

"I'm just 24 years old and have a long career ahead of me. It is important to get these things out of the way early."