Braves count on Ronald Acuna Jr. to be prepared for Opening Day

Nationwide League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. is anticipated to be prepared for Opening Day with the Atlanta Braves after a extra thorough examination of his sore proper knee discovered no severe points.

Acuña left the Braves’ spring coaching website in Florida to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday evening.

The group introduced Tuesday that ElAttrache discovered solely irritation within the meniscus of Acuña’s proper knee. Acuña will be capable of regularly enhance his baseball actions and is anticipated to be cleared to play by the point the Braves open the common season at Philadelphia on March 28.

“I do not know once I’ll play once more, however I really feel like I can play immediately — I can play every single day,” Acuña stated. “However I’ve acquired [a] boss. After they inform me, ‘You possibly can play,’ I am going to play.”

Acuña is coming off a season wherein he turned the primary participant in baseball historical past to hit 40 homers and steal 70 bases. He was a unanimous alternative for NL MVP after hitting .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases, main Atlanta to its sixth straight NL East title.

“It is essential as a result of I need to play every single day,” he stated. “I need to play on the Opening Day roster, one hundred percent. I really feel nice.”

Braves supervisor Brian Snitker stated the group was not contemplating limiting Acuña on the basepaths.

“He is nonetheless younger, and he is nonetheless at an age the place he can proceed to do this,” Snitker stated. “He will attain a degree a while the place he will decelerate on his personal and perceive that. I feel you have to flip a child like that unfastened and let him play his recreation.”

Acuña, 26, tweaked his knee Thursday whereas he was in a rundown between second and third base throughout an exhibition recreation towards the Minnesota Twins. There have been no instant points; he remained within the recreation for 2 extra innings earlier than exiting with most of the common starters.

Acuña took batting apply the subsequent day, however the group determined to take no probabilities when ache endured in the identical knee that suffered a season-ending harm in 2021.

As a precautionary measure, the Braves despatched Acuña to be examined by the famed California surgeon who surgically repaired the knee after Acuña tore the anterior cruciate ligament in 2021.

ElAttrache confirmed there was no structural injury, offering the Braves with an enormous sigh of reduction as they head into one other season of excessive expectations.

ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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