Mike Cameron was to undergo facial surgery last night, one day after his frightening outfield collision with Mets teammate Carlos Beltran.

Cameron was scheduled to be operated on in San Diego, where he is expected to remain for at least four more days. Beltran was expected to miss New York's three-game weekend series with the Dodgers because of a concussion and a small fracture in his cheekbone.

Both players spent Thursday night at different hospitals following their seventh-inning crash in the Mets' 2-1 loss to the Padres. Cameron and Beltran were running at full speed toward David Ross's looping fly to short right-center, and their heads hit as they left their feet to catch the ball.

Watching it again on the highlight shows didn't make it any less gruesome for their teammates.

"I didn't see it that many times, but I didn't even want to see it after that. Once was enough," Manager Willie Randolph said. "I've seen a lot of different collisions -- but when you get two guys who are going straight out like that, it's scary because when they bump heads, you never know what can happen.

* C. JONES STARTS: Chipper Jones returned to the Braves' lineup after missing eight starts with a strained right rotator cuff. Jones struck out as a pinch hitter in Thursday night's game, but he had not started at third base since hurting his shoulder on Aug. 2 at Cincinnati.

-- From News Services

Mets' Mike Cameron is secured to a stretcher before medical personnel remove him from the field Thursday.