Frank Francisco is finally throwing a baseball.

After reporting to camp with elbow swelling, the combustible closer played catch yesterday, leaving Mets manager Terry Collins optimistic the right-hander will be part of the Opening Day roster.

“It’s a step forward, for sure,” Collins said before the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Nationals last night. “The swelling has subsided, the discomfort has subsided and now we have to take these gradual baby steps as we get closer to being back to where we need to be.”

No timetable has been set for Francisco to begin throwing from a mound. His next step will be long-tossing.

Bobby Parnell is handling the closer’s duties in camp to prepare for the possibility Francisco won’t be ready to start the season.

“We’ve still got five weeks,” Collins said. “We’ve still got a lot of time.”