The Reds say Johnny Cueto will likely miss three starts with his 15-day disabled trip, but Cueto says he’s confident that’s all he’ll miss with the strained right lat muscle.

“I don’t think this is going to affect me at all,” Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera. “I think, God willing, I’ll be better in five-six days and I’ll be able to start throwing.”

The injury is the same one that ended Cueto’s 2011 season prematurely, although he’d forgotten about that until Vera mentioned it to him on Monday.

The Reds shut Cueto down after he suffered a strained right lat in his Sept. 14, 2011, start against the Cubs. He left that game in the fourth inning and didn’t pitch again that season.

Cueto left Saturday’s game against the Pirates in the fifth inning, returning to Cincinnati on Sunday. He was checked out by team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek. The Reds placed Cueto on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, and transferred outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the 60-day disabled list to make room for right-handed reliever Justin Freeman. The team will likely call up left-hander Tony Cingrani to make Johnny Cueto’s scheduled start on Thursday against the Marlins. Cingrani was limited to two innings and 45 pitches on Sunday for Triple-A Louisville. In three starts so far for the Bats, Cingrani has allowed just three hits, two walks and no runs, while striking out 26 in 14 1/3 innings over three starts.

Freeman will be making his big-league debut when he pitches. Reds manager Dusty Baker said the team needed immediate help in the bullpen, which is why Freeman got the call.

“We need help now,” Baker said.

The 26-year-old right-hander has appeared in four games for the Bats this season, giving up one run in five innings. He's given up five hits and a walk, while striking out six.