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Cueto OK after DL return, but time will tell

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The first time that Reds ace Johnny Cueto returned from the disabled list after suffering a strained right lat muscle, he made three successful starts. One of them was an eight-inning outing to beat the Pirates. It was after that game that Cueto returned to the DL with a recurrence of the injury.

On Monday, the day after Cueto successfully returned again with six innings and 88 pitches in a 5-1 win over the Brewers, he appeared to have no ill effects. But it wasn't totally clear, yet.

Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- The first time that Reds ace Johnny Cueto returned from the disabled list after suffering a strained right lat muscle, he made three successful starts. One of them was an eight-inning outing to beat the Pirates. It was after that game that Cueto returned to the DL with a recurrence of the injury.

On Monday, the day after Cueto successfully returned again with six innings and 88 pitches in a 5-1 win over the Brewers, he appeared to have no ill effects. But it wasn't totally clear, yet.

Full Game Coverage

"We'll see," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Monday. "He's going to have the normal soreness after he pitches. We'll probably tell more tomorrow than today. Today, how do you judge normal soreness? As long as he doesn't hurt."

Cueto is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his seven starts this season. The club is resigned to the notion it will have to watch him closely and hold its breath to make sure he comes out of each start healthy.

"Probably for a while, yeah," Baker said. "At least we know what the situation is and the signs. You're going to be concerned, for the lack of a better word, probably now until the end of the season."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cincinnati Reds, Johnny Cueto