Francisco pitches off mound at Mets' camp

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Right-handed reliever Frank Francisco pitched off a mound Sunday for the first time since reporting to Spring Training.

Francisco, who threw approximately 20 pitches at the Mets' facilities in Port St. Lucie, Fla., has battled elbow inflammation since arriving at camp. The 33-year-old closer underwent surgery in December to remove bone spurs in the same elbow.

"I actually heard he threw very well," manager Terry Collins said after Sunday's session.

Though Sunday's activity marked a positive step in the rehab process, Francisco remains likely to open the season on the disabled list. The veteran reliever is coming off a disappointing debut season with the Mets, posting a career-worst 5.53 ERA while injuries limited him to 42 1/3 innings over 48 appearances.

Bobby Parnell, who has yet to allow an earned run over six innings entering Monday, will continue to fill in as the team's closer.

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.