Ronald Acuña Jr,’ Right Fielder will miss four months due to a career-ending injury, but…..

 Ronald Acuña Jr.’s knee injury might keep him out for the remainder of spring training, but the Atlanta Braves anticipate having him in the lineup when the regular season begins.

Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos told reporters they “expect” Acuña to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing an MRI on Friday due to knee soreness.

The MRI revealed irritation around Acuña’s right meniscus, and he will be evaluted by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday. The team noted ElAttrache was encouraged by what he saw from the imaging, but the four-time All-Star will have an in-person follow-up just to be safe.

Acuña tweaked his knee during Thursday’s spring training game against the Minnesota Twins. He was caught in a rundown between second and third base in the bottom of the third inning.

The Braves star was able to jog off the field after being tagged out with no obvious limp. He remained in the game through the fifth inning, including taking an at-bat in the bottom of the fourth.

Manager Brian Snitker originally had Acuña in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, but he was scratched before the first pitch after experiencing soreness in his right knee.

“I don’t think it will be anything,” Snitker told reporters. “It’s probably one of those things if this was the [regular] season, he’d play. But we wanted to get it looked at if there’s enough that he said so.”

Any discomfort in Acuña’s right knee is going to be some cause for concern in Atlanta. He tore the ACL in that knee midway through the 2021 season and missed the remainder of the year, including the team’s postseason run to the World Series.

Acuña is coming off a historic 2023 that saw him become the ninth player in Braves history to win the NL MVP award. He hit .337/.416/.596 with 41 homers, 106 RBI and 73 stolen bases. The 26-year-old became the first player in MLB history with at least 40 homers and 70 steals in the same season.

The Braves open the regular season on March 28 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have ended Atlanta’s season in the National League Division Series in each of the past two years.

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