Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. activated from IL

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Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. activated from IL originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The defending World Series champions are getting their star back earlier than expected.

Ronald Acuña Jr., who suffered a torn ACL in July, was activated from the injured list by the Atlanta Braves on Thursday morning.

The 24-year-old, who hit .368 over six games while rehabbing in Triple-A Gwinnett, was expected to return May 6. Acuna played all nine innings in Wednesday night's game, going 2-for-5.

“I feel great and healthy,” Acuña told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Wednesday’s game. “I’ve been feeling ready since two weeks ago. There are things I can’t control. Whenever the medical staff and (the team) decide, I’ll be ready to go.”

Last season, Acuña was hitting .283 with 24 home runs last season before he tore his right ACL while attempting to make a leaping catch in right field during a game against the Miami Marlins.

Even without their two-time All-Star, the Braves went on to capture their first World Series championship since 1995.

The Braves are off to an 8-11 start this season. Acuña is expected to be in the lineup when they host the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

To make room on the roster, the Braves designated outfielder Alex Dickerson for assignment.