Insiders say Garrett and CBS remain stalemated over his demands for a big pay raise.
Garrett plays sad-sack cop Robert Barone on the top-rated sitcom - and won an Emmy last year. He wants to up his pay from a reported $150,000-per-episode to a "substantially higher" figure in line with co-stars on other shows.
Series star Ray Romano (search) will make $2 million-per-episode this season - the biggest per-episode payday in TV history.
Garrett's absence from the "Raymond" set yesterday was expected. He'd already been written out of the first episode a few weeks ago when it was apparent his contract demands were an issue.
CBS put out a statement last week calling Garrett's absence "unfortunate" and pointing out it has already renegotiated his contract twice before.
Garrett's representatives did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.
Meanwhile, series star Patricia Heaton (search), who called in sick for several days last week - apparently for legitimate medical reasons - was at yesterday's table reading for the first "Raymond" episode of the season, which is expected to begin shooting this week.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" finished last season as TV's top-rated sitcom.
It anchors CBS' powerful Monday-night lineup which includes "Yes, Dear," "King of Queens," "Still Standing" and "CSI: Miami." (search)