Jermaine O'Neal's preseason may be finished because of a foot injury.

Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle said yesterday that O'Neal probably would miss the remaining five games to rest a strained ligament in his left foot.

Carlisle said the injury to his all-star center, suffered before the opening of camp, has not worsened but that team doctors feel rest will accelerate healing.

"Our hope is to get him back by the beginning of the regular season," Carlisle said.

Indiana is scheduled to open the season on Nov. 3 at Cleveland.

* MOURNING UPDATE: C Alonzo Mourning, 34, went through his first full-contact practice with the Nets since undergoing a kidney transplant 10 months ago.

Mourning is attempting to be the second pro athlete to return from a kidney transplant. The first was former Spurs F Sean Elliott, who played 71 games over two seasons after undergoing a transplant in 1999.

"It is progress," Mourning said. "Every time I think about where I was and where I am today, I don't see too many transplant patients doing what I am doing now in less than a year whether it be kidney, heart, liver, any kind of transplant."

-- From News Services