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08/25/08 10:10 PM ET

Reds' Cueto has strained right elbow

Right-hander to miss next start; Bailey has right knee sprain

HOUSTON -- Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto had his sore arm examined on Monday and the medical report is in.

Cueto will miss at least one start. Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek diagnosed the rookie with "a posterior strain of his right elbow, possibly due to hyperextension of that elbow."

During Sunday's 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Rockies in Colorado, Cueto exited his start after just three innings after he complained of soreness behind his elbow. There was concern because the 22-year-old threw 74 pitches in a short period of time, but the club felt the diagnosis was positive.

"I think it's good news," general manager Walt Jocketty said from Tampa, Fla., where he watched the Class A Sarasota affiliate play. "It was more of a relief that it was not anything serious."

Jocketty had not spoken with manager Dusty Baker or pitching coach Dick Pole about how the Reds will replace Cueto, who's next scheduled start was on Saturday vs. the Giants.

Because this Monday and next Monday are scheduled off-days, others in the rotation could move up one day and throw on their normal rest if need be. With Triple-A Louisville headed for the playoffs, the preference is to not call up a pitcher and disrupt the team's chances.

In 27 starts this season, Cueto is 8-12 with a 4.65 ERA in 155 innings. His career high of innings was set last season in the Minors with 161 1/3. Asked if the right-hander might be shut down the rest of the season to preserve his arm, Jocketty didn't believe it would be necessary but still wanted to confer first with Baker and Pole.

"We'll come up with some kind of idea on where we go with him," Jocketty said. "We'll take it conservatively and see how he is. We all need to sit down and talk. He's getting to an area of innings pitched that he hasn't been to before. But he's young and strong and he should be able to get there. He'll have to eventually."

Cueto will be examined again on Friday.

Kremchek also examined another young Reds pitcher on Monday, Homer Bailey. The right-hander had tests that revealed a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Bailey will miss his next start for Louisville, which was scheduled for Thursday. He will visit Kremchek again for another look at the end of the week.

"He should be able to pitch in the playoffs if they need him," Jocketty said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.