Opening Day in doubt for Blue Jays' Francisco

Opening Day in doubt for Blue Jays' Francisco

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Frank Francisco will likely miss the start of the regular season after being diagnosed with tightness in his right pectoral muscle and inflammation in his right biceps muscle.

Francisco received the news after visiting Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Dr. Andrews also confirmed an earlier report that there is no structural damage in the affected area, which potentially would have required surgery.

That bit of good news means the 31-year-old Francisco is set to resume his rehab at the beginning of next week.

"He'll start with a throwing program on Sunday," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It looks like right now he will not be ready to go at the start of the season. We'll have a better read on that once he gets back into the throwing program."

The latest development confirms what the Blue Jays initially felt last week. Francisco received a clean bill of health following an MRI on Friday, but he continued to feel soreness in his right pectoral muscle during a bullpen session the following day. The club then opted to send the Dominican native for a second opinion.

"All along we have felt that based on the MRI that was performed here in town that there wasn't anything structurally damaged," Farrell said. "It was a matter of getting him over the irritation that he has been feeling. We look at this right now as a short-term thing, even though the short term doesn't have him active with us."

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Francisco was acquired from Texas in an offseason trade for catcher Mike Napoli. Last season with the Rangers, Francisco went 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA and two saves.