Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. will need further evaluation on right knee injury

Ronald Acuña Jr. is set to undergo further evaluation on his right knee after being scratched from the Atlanta Braves lineup on Friday.

Sep 11, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) in
Sep 11, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) in / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves are looking to get back over the hump that is the National League Division Series this upcoming season. After winning the World Series in 2021, they were eliminated by their rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, in the NLDS the following two seasons. As with any team, they were getting ready for the upcoming campaign with spring training.

On Friday, the Braves received quite the scare when it was revealed that star outfielder and 2023 NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. was scratched from the lineup. The move was a precautionary measure, as Acuña was dealing with right knee soreness. Even so, manager Brian Snitker expressed his belief that Acuña could be back as soon as Sunday.

Well, Acuña is going to be out for much longer than that.

According to multiple Braves reporters, an MRI revealed that Acuña was dealing with irritation in the right meniscus. While the expectation is the outfielder will be ready for Opening Day, Acuña is heading to Los Angeles to get further evaluation from Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Ronald Acuña Jr. undergoing further evaluation after suffering meniscus irritation

This is quite the jump in the matter of hours regarding Acuña's knee. From being ready to return as soon as Sunday, to now having to travel to see ElAttrache, a respected orthopedic surgeon, to get further evaluation for meniscus irritation. ElAttrache performed surgery on Acuña's right knee when he tore his ACL during the 2021 season.

While the Braves expect Acuña to be ready for Opening Day, that is not necessarily a given.

MLB.com's Mark Bowman notes that when Acuña walked into the Braves' spring training facility on Saturday morning, he didn't even have a slight limp.

Last season, Acuña recorded a .337 batting average, a .416 on-base percentage (major league-best), a .596 slugging percentage, 41 home runs, 106 RBI, 149 runs (major league-best), 217 hits (major league-best), and 73 stolen bases (major league-best) in 643 at-bats (NL-high).

We should get a clearer picture as to whether Acuña will be ready to go for the start of the season after his evaluation on Monday.

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