Infielder was hurt bunting Monday

Updated: April 3, 2004, 6:31 PM ET

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Padres utility infielder Jeff Cirillo has a broken right index finger and is expected to miss the first four to six weeks of the season.

Cirillo, who will make $6.6 million this season, was hurt trying to bunt against Texas on Monday night in Surprise, Ariz. He's expected to be put on the disabled list when the Padres set their 25-man roster on Saturday.

General manager Kevin Towers said the fracture didn't show up when Cirillo was first X-rayed after the injury. The Padres only learned of the fracture on Friday.

"Right now he can swing the bat, he just can't throw," manager Bruce Bochy said Friday night, when the Padres had a workout at Petco Park. The Padres play the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon before opening the season at Los Angeles on Monday.

The Padres had their share of injuries during spring and just got first baseman-cleanup hitter Phil Nevin back after he missed three weeks with a strained left shoulder. Center fielder Jay Payton, sidelined with a strained hamstring, is expected to start in center field on Saturday night.

Cirillo was acquired in trade with Seattle in early January. Although he struggled at the plate in spring games, the Padres value his defense.

The Padres must decide whether to carry an extra infielder or pitcher. Bochy said the club might pursue Damian Jackson, who was with San Diego from 1999-2001. Jackson was released by Colorado on Sunday and signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs.

One pitcher who could make the cut is right-hander Jason Szuminski, who would become the first graduate of MIT to make the big leagues.

"I feel like I've had a good spring," Szuminski said. "I feel like something's going to work out one way or another. I just feel like I'm ready to go and anxious to start the season, and hopefully it's here."

Szuminski was taken during the winter meetings draft out of the Cubs' organization. If he doesn't make the Padres' roster, he'll go back to the Cubs.