Jose Canseco's recovery from back surgery is going so well that the slugger thinks he could return to the Devil Rays sooner than expected to resume his quest for 500 career home runs.

"I think I'm two or three weeks ahead of schedule. If it were up to me, I'd be in the lineup in 10 or 11 days. But I only work here," the 35-year-old designated hitter said before last night's game against the Indians.

Canseco had surgery for a herniated disk on July 11. Doctors said at the time that the earliest they expected him to be able to play again was Sept. 1. Although trainers have been encouraged by his progress in rehabilitation workouts, the club is urging him to not get too far ahead of schedule.

Canseco led the AL with 31 homers when he was injured and hasn't given up hope that he can come back and regain the lead from Ken Griffey Jr., who has 3.

STRAWBERRY: Yankees slugger Darryl Strawberry continued his comeback with a pair of singles for Class AAA Columbus last night in an 11-4 loss to visiting Indianapolis.

Strawberry improved his average to .333 (4 for 12) in the three games he has played since being reinstated from his drug suspension.

MOVE: The Blue Jays claimed OF Curtis Goodwin off waivers from the Cubs.