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Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. tears knee, will have season-ending surgery

The Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. leaves the field on a medical cart July 10, 2021, in Miami.
Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. leaves the field on a cart Saturday in Miami. He will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering a complete tear of the ACL in his right knee.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering a complete tear of the ACL in his right knee during Atlanta’s 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

An MRI exam showed the severity of the injury, and the Braves made the announcement shortly before midnight Eastern time.

Hours earlier, Acuna landed awkwardly on his right leg after jumping on the warning track in right field to try to catch a drive from Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the fifth inning. He slammed into the outfield wall and crumbled on the warning track, immediately grabbing his right knee while Chisholm sprinted out an inside-the-park homer.

Acuna tried to walk off but dropped back to the ground in shallow right field. A trainer tended to him while a cart was retrieved, and concerned teammates gathered quietly around him.

The Angels have played well enough lately to pull above .500 but still trail several teams in the standings. More improvement could prompt a buying mode.

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Tears welled in the 23-year-old’s eyes as he waited. When the cart pulled around to the nearby warning track, he had to be helped over and did not put any weight on his right leg.

“He’s in a lot of pain, I can tell you that. It’s a tough break for the team and for him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the game.

The Dodgers’ Walker Buehler and Justin Turner have been added to the NL roster for All-Star game, while Mookie Betts will sit out because of an injury.

Max Fried gave up three straight hits but settled down to retire the side with two strikeouts after the injury.

“You never like to see one of your teammates come up injured after trying to make a great play,” Fried said. “It’s obviously very unfortunate, but you have to stay with the task at hand and finish the game.”

Chisholm at first thought Acuna was going to make the catch and didn’t realize the severity of the injury until after he crossed home plate.

“A guy like that, him getting injured, the baseball world is going to miss him if he’s out for a long time,” Chisholm said.

Acuna had been slated to start in the outfield for the National League All-Star team in Tuesday’s game in Denver. He hit .283 with 24 home runs and 52 RBIs this season for the three-time defending NL East champions, who started the day in second place behind the New York Mets.


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