Frank Francisco admitted he still has soreness in the right elbow that has sidelined him, but he isn’t ready to count himself out for Opening Day.

“I’m working really hard to be ready for April 1,” Francisco said after long-tossing yesterday. “You never know. I may give you a little surprise.”

The biggest surprise at this point would be a healthy Francisco to start the season. That goal remains elusive.

“I still feel soreness where they did the work,” Francisco said of his offseason elbow surgery. “But they told me it’s going to be like that for a while. … I’d rather take my time than lose another month.”

So it seems he will have to manage the discomfort if he intends to be on the mound anytime soon. He would like to throw a bullpen session over the weekend.

“Sometimes you’ve got to pitch through it,” Francisco said. “I’ve just got to wait and see that it doesn’t get inflamed or something. … I can handle soreness.”

After an ugly first season with the Mets, though, there’s little reason to think Francisco can be effective if his arm isn’t right.