June 20, 2024

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Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. Out for the season with a torn left ACL

Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr.  Out for the season with a torn left ACL

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Sunday’s 8-1 win over Pittsburgh.

The reigning NL MVP led off the game with a double to right-center off Martin Pérez. With Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Acuña started toward third on a stolen base attempt and his left knee collapsed. Acuña remained on the ground for several minutes while receiving treatment, and pointed to his left leg before emerging under his own power.

Braves’ initial diagnosis was knee pain. But the team announced Sunday night that an MRI showed a complete tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, which will require season-ending surgery.

Acuña tore his right ACL on July 20, 2021. Wearing a brace in the clubhouse after Sunday’s win, the 26-year-old said this injury appears to be less serious.

“(I) don’t feel that pain, any popping or anything. … I don’t think it’s that bad,” Acuña said.

Acuña said he was looking to take third when he expected a slow throw to the mound from catcher Joey Bart. The draw was tougher than expected, resulting in a surprise return to second place with a sprained knee.

Acuña is hitting .250 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 49 games. The four-time All-Star hit a career-best .337 last season with 41 homers and 106 RBIs.

Atlanta was already missing All-Star right fielder Spencer Strider, whose season ended April 13 when he underwent internal surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Third baseman Austin Riley is day-to-day with a left intercostal strain, and catcher Sean Murphy remains on the 10-day injured list with an oblique injury after getting hurt on Opening Day.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.