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Francis working toward swift retun

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DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis, placed on the disabled list Thursday with a left groin strain, rode a stationary bike and did some throwing Friday in an effort to stay sharp and possibly shorten his time out of action.

Francis sustained the injury in the second inning of Tuesday's 9-4 victory over the Cubs. Despite the pain, Francis held the Cubs to one run on three hits in six innings.

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Francis said head athletic trainer Keith Dugger told him it would take 5-7 days for his groin to heal. Between now and then, the plan is to keep his arm in shape.

Francis is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA. Many of his early-season starts were in snowy or rainy weather.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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