d'Arnaud doing everything but playing in games

d'Arnaud doing everything but playing in games

PITTSBURGH -- Mets manager Terry Collins said Travis d'Arnaud is doing everything in his rehab but playing -- the product of a broken bone in his left foot suffered in April.

"He's hitting. He's throwing. He's catching in the [bullpen]," Collins said. "He's doing everything except playing right now."

d'Arnaud, the club's top prospect, was cleared to begin a rehab assignment in early June. The only thing slowing his return is running the bases.

The catcher was acquired from Toronto in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays this past winter. d'Arnaud hit .250/.429/.472 with one home run and eight RBIs in 49 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas before the injury.

Starter Jon Niese, on the other hand, is still a ways off. Collins doesn't have any timetable for the lefty's return to the team, but Niese has begun throwing long toss in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to strengthen his shoulder. He was placed on the disabled list on June 21 and is working back from a rotator cuff injury.

Reliever Frank Francisco is back on the field with the GCL Mets. He threw one inning Friday, but Collins didn't have an update on him, either. Francisco has had ongoing elbow issues this season after offseason surgery and hasn't pitched since he made five appearances for the Class A Port St. Lucie Mets in late April and early May.

"I have no idea," Collins said of Francisco. "Tomorrow brings a new chapter."

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.