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05/14/09 1:39 PM ET
Francisco questionable for set with Halos
Closer plays catch Thursday without experiencing soreness
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Frank Francisco played catch on Thursday without any pain or soreness in his shoulder but remains unavailable as the Rangers closer.
Francisco hasn't pitched since April 29 in Oakland because of biceps tendinitis. The Rangers haven't put him on the disabled list, but his availability for the three-game series with the Angels this weekend is questionable at best.
Francisco played seven minutes of catch with trainer Jamie Reed before Thursday's game with the Mariners but did not throw off a mound.
"Today was good," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "He had no pain. It was a good first step. Tomorrow we'll push it."
Francisco will throw on flat ground again Friday but the Rangers aren't sure if he'll pitch off the mound. They may wait and have him do that on Saturday.
"The general consensus is he's feeling good," general manager Jon Daniels said. "So we're going to play it safe on the front end rather than being regretful on the back end."
C.J. Wilson, who hasn't given up an earned run in his past six outings, is the Rangers replacement closer but he threw 25 pitches over two innings in a 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday night.
Francisco hasn't allowed a run in 14 appearances all season. He is still tied for the American League lead with nine saves, along with Jonathan Papelbon of the Red Sox and Brian Fuentes of the Angels.