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Recovering Francis hit with ball in rehab start

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DENVER -- Left-hander Jeff Francis' rehab from a left groin strain hit a snag Tuesday, when he was hit on the front of his left ankle during a rehab start in extended spring training.

Francis had thrown 45 pitches and was 3 1/3 innings through a scheduled six against a Giants squad when he was hit. Francis said the evaluation went fine Wednesday, and hoped it would not delay is route back to the Majors.

"It was fine until I took a line drive off my leg -- it's fine, it's just bruised," said Francis, who is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Thursday, but will need to heal and make some rehab starts before being activated. "I don't think it'll keep me out.

"But when I was pitching, I felt like myself and was able to move around. I felt normal. I'll throw my bullpen as soon as I can and see what happens."

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

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