SAN FRANCISCO - Homer Bailey's back, better late than never.
The veteran right-hander is expected to make his first major league start Sunday in more than 15 months following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
"If it's not now, it probably never will be," said Bailey, who rejoined the team Tuesday.
Manager Bryan Price said the team is monitoring Bailey's status after he threw 98 pitches for Triple-A Louisville in a rehab start on Monday.
"I think he's fine. I think he's conditioned. I think he's ready to pitch for us, but we won't announce and make that commitment until he gets through the next 48 hours," Price said. "It could be Saturday, but the probability is it's Sunday."
The Reds will be in San Diego over the weekend.
Bailey hasn't pitched in a major-league game since April 23, 2015 and has made only two starts since August 2014, when he had surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near the same elbow.
Bailey was scheduled to return in April or May this year but had a setback. The Reds were counting him to be their No. 1 starter in a rotation full of first- and second-year pitchers.
Bailey has thrown two no-hitters in his nine seasons with the Reds.