Francisco not expected to return

Francisco not expected to return

NEW YORK -- Rangers reliever Frank Francisco threw 20 pitches on the mound without any pain on Sunday afternoon, but team officials still don't expect him to be activated if the team advances to the World Series.

Francisco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 28 because of a strained muscle in his right rib cage. Francisco, who was 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, was the Rangers' eighth-inning reliever for most of the season.

Asked he could play if the Rangers advanced to the next round, Francisco said, "I don't want to put that in my mind. I want to take it step by step."