Acuña Jr. Gets Ready For Surgery, Recovery

Ronald Acuña Jr. is facing another surgery that will keep him off the diamond for another season, but he said he’s ready to work towards returning to the Atlanta Braves next season.

He knows he has the support of his teammates and fans, but it doesn’t stop him from feeling the pain that comes from missing a season he desperately wanted to be a part of.

“All that support [from fans, teammates, and coaches] finds me at home crying by myself because I feel like I’m the one abandoning the team,” Acuña said in a press conference this afternoon through an interpreter. “It feels like I’m the one letting everyone down, but there’s nothing I can do.”

Acuña suffered an injury on Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he tore the ACL in his left knee trying to steal a base. After an MRI was taken the following day that confirmed the injury, Acuña was placed on the Braves’ injury reserve list. But the injury will put him out of action for the full season. His last season-ending injury was on July 20, 2021, when he injured the ACL in his right knee.

The surgery for the latest injury will be performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday, the same doctor who presided over the 2021 surgery, according to the Associated Press. He expects to be in LA for at least a month before he starts his rehabilitation.

Brian Snitker, Braves manager, says Acuña should recover quickly, but hopes that the outfielder can stay strong through a difficult time.

“He’s done it before and he’ll do it again,” said Snitker. “He’s young and strong.”

Acuña says his last surgery taught him the value of patience, which he knows he will need for the surgery and subsequent rehab.  He plans to work hard this season to recuperate for next season, and he will be leaning on his family for support.

“Sometimes these things are blessings in disguise,” he said. “Sometimes you gotta lose yourself to find yourself. I just want to take everything in stride. It’s another opportunity. Who knows? Maybe I can come back and win another MVP.”