Braves Outfielder Acuna, Reigning National League MVP, out for Year With Knee Injury

Braves Outfielder Acuna, Reigning National League MVP, out for Year With Knee Injury

Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves hits a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on May 24, 2024. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY via Field Level Media)

Field Level Media

Field Level Media

5/26/2024

Updated: 5/26/2024

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Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., one of Major League Baseball’s brightest stars, will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Sunday.
Acuna, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, injured the knee in the first inning of Sunday’s 8–1, road victory over 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. Acuna 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 receiving results of his testing. 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 big-league season with a .250 batting average, four home runs, and 15 RBIs in 49 games.
The first player in major-league 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 National League MVP in 2023.
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