Mets keeping close eye on Francisco's progress

Mets keeping close eye on Francisco's progress

NEW YORK -- The Mets still aren't quite sure what to expect from Frank Francisco. Francisco, the team's erstwhile closer, is still recovering from offseason surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow, and manager Terry Collins said Sunday that only time will tell.

"We've had him looked at by the doctors," Collins said. "They've certainly said there are no other structural issues at hand. He's the only one who can tell us how he feels. Nobody else knows. The chip's been taken care of. It's just a matter now of having his arm respond to the rigors of throwing a lot."

Francisco pitched to a 1-3 record with a 5.53 ERA and 23 saves last season, and Collins said he's been watched carefully at the team's Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Francisco threw 25 pitches on Saturday, but Collins said he felt OK and wasn't ready to progress.

At this point, said Collins, the Mets can't really tell how far along he is in his recovery. If the 32-year-old can only throw one day at a time, he said, it will be a while before he's able to return.

"He's got to be able to throw back-to-back days, which he has not even gotten close to yet," said Collins of Francisco. "We need to do that, and then we can put a timetable on it."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.