Braves OF Ronald Acuña Jr. expected to be ready for Opening Day as he deals with meniscus irritation

Acuña Jr. tore his ACL in the same knee during the 2021 season

Ronald Acuña Jr. is expected to be ready for Opening Day, the Atlanta Braves said, after the 2023 NL MVP was diagnosed with irritation in the meniscus of his right knee.

According to the Braves, Acuña saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday, and the outfielder will "gradually increase baseball activities" ahead of the season opener March 28 against the host Philadelphia Phillies.

Acuña sustained the injury while in a rundown during Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. He remained in the game through the fifth inning and took part in pregame batting practice Friday. After telling the team he could play, he did note that he was experiencing soreness and was scratched from the lineup that night and underwent an MRI.

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The knee that is currently bothering Acuña is the same one in which he suffered a torn ACL in 2021. ElAttrache was the doctor who performed the surgery three years ago. Acuña missed the second half of that season and did not return to the Braves' lineup until late April 2022.

Acuña, 26, played 159 games for the Braves last season and became the first 40-70 player — 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases — in MLB history, which ended with him being voted unanimous NL MVP. He's the consensus No. 1-ranked player in 2024 fantasy baseball drafts.