MLB: Braves OF Ronald Acuna Jr. tears ACL, done for season

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Atlanta Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a complete tear of the ACL in his left knee on Sunday.

Acuna, the reigning National League MVP, injured the knee in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s 8-1 win at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite telling reporters that he did not think he tore the ligament, Acuna underwent an MRI exam and the Braves announced the results late Sunday night.

The 26-year-old will undergo surgery at a later date, the team said.

Acuna led off Sunday’s game with a double to right-center field off Pirates left-hander Martin Perez. He made a move toward third base with Marcell Ozuna batting and fell awkwardly to the ground.

He remained on the ground for several minutes before slowly limping off the field. Jarred Kelenic replaced Acuna in the Atlanta lineup.

“I saw the catcher throwing the ball back to the pitcher very slow,” Acuna said through an interpreter. “I was timing that so I could steal third. But in that moment, he threw it hard. So I had to come back, and that’s when I felt it.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker called Acuna’s injury “very concerning” before the results of his testing came in.

Acuna tore the ACL in his right knee on July 10, 2021, and returned 9 1/2 months later early in the 2022 season. He also sprained his left ACL in May 2018 and was sidelined for just more than a month.

Acuna finishes his abbreviated seventh MLB season with a .250 batting average, four home runs and 15 RBIs in 49 games.

The first player in MLB history to accomplish a 40-home run, 70-steal season, Acuna is a career .289 hitter with 165 homers and 417 RBIs in 722 games. He’s a four-time All-Star and was the unanimous NL MVP in 2023.

–Field Level Media

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