Francisco to pitch for Binghamton on Wednesday

Francisco to pitch for Binghamton on Wednesday

NEW YORK -- Mets closer Frank Francisco will begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday, starting his rehab one day later than initially planned.

Francisco, who has been on the disabled list since June 23 with a strained left oblique, was to begin the assignment on Tuesday with Class A Brooklyn, but discomfort in his right knee -- that ultimately required a shot -- pushed his schedule back a day.

Francisco said Wednesday that he felt no pain in his knee and that any soreness in his oblique had subsided. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen session at Citi Field on Tuesday with no discomfort.

"We need him back very badly. Our bullpen has had a tough time," manager Terry Collins said. "He's the one addition. You're trying to find bullpen help, we've got bullpen help. It's in-house. We just got to get him back out there."

Collins said the Mets opted to perform the injection on Monday to prevent future flare-ups. He said that despite an overworked bullpen -- New York's 'pen pitched a combined 17 innings of relief in the team's weekend series against the Dodgers -- the focus remained on Francisco's late-season availability.

"What's two more days right now, as opposed to saving us a week down the road here when we really need him?" Collins said. "We're going to get it done, and I'd think in the next five or six days, Franky Francisco will be in our clubhouse."