Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr likely ready for Opening Day, despite knee injury concerns: 'I can play today'


Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having trouble? Click here.

The Atlanta Braves organization breathed a collective sigh of relief when a California doctor confirmed no structural damage was found in outfielder and reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr’s right knee.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed Acuña recently experienced some discomfort in the same knee that was surgically repaired after the Braves star suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2021. ElAttrache concluded that the recent knee discomfort was due to irritation around the meniscus.

The diagnosis means Acuña will likely avoid surgery and be ready for the Braves’ Opening Day matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies on March 28.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Ronald Acuña Jr. runs

Ronald Acuña Jr., #13 of the Atlanta Braves, hits a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Aug. 28, 2023 in Denver. (Tyler Schank/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Braves revealed plans to gradually ramp up Acuña’s baseball activities as Opening Day draws near. 

Acuña first seemed to experience some soreness in his right knee on Friday, shortly after an extended rundown play from a Feb. 29 spring training game. He then underwent an MRI which revealed irritation of the meniscus.

BRAVES’ RONALD ACUÑA JR. NAMED TOPPS COVER ATHLETE FOR 2024 BASEBALL TRADING CARDS FOLLOWING MVP SEASON

In what the Braves described as a precautionary measure, Acuña traveled to Southern California to allow ElAttrache to perform a knee examination.

Ronald Acuña Jr. hits home run

Ronald Acuna Jr., #13 of the Atlanta Braves, hits a home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Sept. 22, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Acuña had multiple stints during the 2022 season, when he required days off as his knee soreness and inflammation lingered. However, in 2023, a fully healthy Acuña put together one of the greatest seasons in major league history. He became the first player to ever have a 40-70 season.

The star right fielder finished the 2023 campaign with 41 homers and a major league-best 73 stolen bases, while batting .337.

Ronald Acuna celebrates on second base

Ronald Acuna Jr., #13 of the Atlanta Braves, celebrates a double against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning at Coors Field on Aug. 28, 2023 in Denver. (Tyler Schank/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

Manager Brian Snitker, who has been a part of the Braves organization for nearly four decades, said Saturday he was trying to remain positive about Acuña’s prognosis.

On Tuesday morning, Acuña said he felt significantly better.

“I feel great,” Acuña said, without the assistance of an interpreter. “I feel like nothing happened.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Shortly after taking batting practice, he jokingly used his bat as a crutch as he limped toward reporters. He then expressed his eagerness to return to action.

“I feel like I can play today,” Acuña said. “I can play every day. But I have a boss. When they tell me I can play, I will play.”

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top