Rangers closer Francisco playing catch

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers closer Frank Francisco played catch from about 60 feet Thursday, and will have another throwing session before getting back on a mound.

Francisco is still tied for the AL lead with nine saves, even though he hasn't pitched since May 6 because of right biceps tendinitis.

"The general sentiment is he's feeling good, let's play it safe on the front end rather than pushing him and being regretful afterward," general manager Jon Daniels said.

Daniels said Francisco will throw long toss Friday. If the right-hander feels good coming out of that, he will likely throw a bullpen session Saturday.

If there are any setbacks, the Rangers can still put Francisco on the disabled list and make the move retroactive if they do it by Sunday.

Francisco hasn't allowed an earned run his last 25 appearances, including 14 2/3 innings in 14 games this season.

C.J. Wilson, who had 24 saves last season, is handling the closer's role in his place.