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Injured Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. expected to play on opening day

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. missed the last three spring training games because of right knee irritation. File Photo by Anthony Stalcup/UPI

March 5 (UPI) -- Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who is dealing with knee irritation, is expected to be in the lineup for an opening-day game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the team announced Tuesday.

The Braves said Acuna visited Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday night in Los Angeles. ElAttrache confirmed irritation in the right meniscus. The orthopedic surgeon operated on the same knee in 2021, after Acuna tore his ACL.

"Acuna is set to gradually increase baseball activities and is expected to be ready for opening day," the Braves said.

Acuna, 26, hit a career-high .337 with 41 home runs, 106 RBIs and led MLB with 217 hits, 73 stolen bases, 149 runs and 383 total bases over 159 games last season en route to MVP honors. He also led the National League with 735 plate appearances and 643 at-bats.

The four-time All-Star hit .292 with 161 home runs and 180 stolen bases through his first six seasons.

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. led MLB with 217 hits and 73 stolen bases, while collecting 41 home runs and 106 RBIs, en route to 2023 National League MVP honors. File Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI
Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. led MLB with 217 hits and 73 stolen bases, while collecting 41 home runs and 106 RBIs, en route to 2023 National League MVP honors. File Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI

Acuna went 1 for 7 with an RBI double through three spring training games. He made his preseason debut in a loss to the Boston Red Sox on Feb. 25 in North Port, Fla. He then played Feb. 26 against the Baltimore Orioles and Thursday against the Minnesota Twins.

He did not play Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. The Braves will host the Detroit Tigers in their next spring training game at 1:05 p.m. EST Tuesday in North Port.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was an All-Star in four of the last five seasons. File Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was an All-Star in four of the last five seasons. File Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI

They will face the Phillies in their season opener at 3:05 p.m. March 28 in Philadelphia.