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O’Neal Overdoes It, Toe Is Hurting

October 16, 2002

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) _ Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal did too much at practice and is hurting again.

O’Neal had not been given clearance to do much on his surgically repaired right big toe, but he jumped on the treadmill before practice Monday and did some light jogging.

After practice Tuesday, he said the bottom of his foot was bothering him.

``I wasn’t supposed to do that,″ the Lakers’ center said.

O’Neal said the soreness is nothing serious and that he is scheduled to meet with his podiatrist on Wednesday.

Although he hasn’t been able to play, O’Neal has been in a good mood this preseason, joking and laughing. Last season, when he was in pain most of the time with toe problems, he was sometimes grumpy.

His teammates have noticed the difference now.

``I think the team definitely feeds off the mood of Shaquille,″ Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. ``That’s pretty normal.″

The Lakers still don’t have a timetable for O’Neal’s return, but he might miss at least the first week of the season.

He has watched his teammates go 1-2 in the exhibition season.

``We’re playing well,″ Kobe Bryant said. ``As far as playing without Shaq, we just go in there and do our best, do what we do. We don’t really change much. We just lock it down defensively and win games.″

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