Cueto set to return to Reds after leave in Dominican Republic

Reds ace still expected to pitch on Opening Day

Cueto set to return to Reds after leave in Dominican Republic

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds ace and Opening Day starter Johnny Cueto's extended leave from camp for a family issue appears to be near its end. Cueto left the team last week to go home to the Dominican Republic for an unspecified emergency.

"My understanding is he'll be here at some point in time today," Reds manager Bryan Price said Wednesday afternoon. "We Facetimed him when he was away. He said he was able to do all this running, shoulder exercises and his throwing. It's not going to hurt to see him and have more of an in-depth conversation on those eight or nine days he's been away."

Cueto was able to work out at the Reds' Dominican academy, which is not far from his hometown.

Although Cueto is not on the team's upcoming probable pitchers list, he would likely work in a Minor League game upon returning. He is not expected to be affected for the regular season.

"I think there's time for him to get in two more starts and be ready in time to pitch on Opening Day," Price said. "All he really needs is two more starts. I'll probably have more for you once I talk to him."

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.