Indiana guard Reggie Miller broke a bone in his left hand in the Pacers' preseason finale against Denver last night and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Miller, 39, was injured in the first quarter of Indiana's 98-79 loss to the Nuggets and left holding his non-shooting hand. He will be reexamined today.

"It's a good thing we have an extra two guard over there," Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle said, referring to Stephen Jackson and Fred Jones. "We're going to need it." . . .

Forward Qyntel Woods, already suspended by the Portland Trail Blazers following allegations of dog fighting, has been suspended without pay for five games by the NBA for violating the league's drug policy.

* BASEBALL: The commissioner's office will wait until after a government investigation to examine whether there has been a relationship between New York Mets reliever John Franco and alleged mobsters.

Franco has given people associated with the Bonanno crime family free tickets for Mets games and passes to visit him in the clubhouse, ganglandnews.com reported on Thursday. Prosecutors may ask Franco to testify in the trial of Vito Rizzuto, the Web site reported, adding that Franco arranged in 1993 for alleged mobsters to get tickets for a Mets game in Montreal.

Franco wouldn't comment on the specifics of the report. . . .

Nomar Garciaparra filed for free agency, starting the bidding process for the all-star shortstop.

Garciaparra has said he would consider returning to Chicago, and General Manager Jim Hendry has already spoken with Garciaparra's agent, Arn Tellem.

Others to file included Cubs catcher Paul Bako and outfielders Ben Grieve and Tom Goodwin; Braves pitcher Russ Ortiz and first baseman Julio Franco; Cardinals shortstop Edgar Renteria, catcher Mike Matheny and outfielder Ray Lankford; and Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel and closer Bob Wickman.

Third baseman Vinny Castilla declined a $2.1 million mutual option with Colorado for next season and filed for free agency, along with Rockies pitcher Shawn Estes. And the Yankees declined their 2005 option on first baseman Travis Lee and their 2006 option on reliever Paul Quantrill.

The Florida Marlins, meantime, will keep Mike Lowell. Lowell could have opted out of his contract because the team hasn't secured new stadium financing, but agreed to a revised deal in which the team guarantees the remaining $25.5 million on his contract.

* COURTS: Texas Rangers reliever Frank Francisco pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge for breaking a woman's nose after tossing a chair into the stands at an Oakland Athletics game.

* TRACK AND FIELD: A hearing in the doping cases of U.S. sprinters Tim Montgomery and Chryste Gaines that had been set for next week was postponed at the request of all parties, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.

-- From News Services