Braves lose star Acuna for season with torn ACL

MIAMI — An MRI on Saturday revealed Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a complete tear of his right ACL. He will undergo season-ending surgery, the team announced on social media.

Acuna was carted off the field in tears after suffering the injury during Atlanta’s 5-4 win over the Marlins earlier in the day.

In his postgame availability, before results were known, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker expressed concern for the outfielder, but didn’t expect word on next steps until Sunday. The news came a little earlier, and clearly was not what the team wanted to hear.

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

Acuna landed awkwardly on his right leg after jumping on the warning track in right field to try to catch a line drive from Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the fifth inning. Acuna 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.

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.

Braves pitcher 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. “Hopefully he gets better.”

Acuna was slated to start in the outfield for the NL All-Star team in Tuesday’s game. It would have been his third appearance. San Diego third baseman Manny Machado will replace Acuna on Tuesday for the NL, the Padres announced later Saturday.

Acuna hit .283 with 24 home runs and 52 RBIs for the three-time defending NL East champions, who are in second place behind the New York Mets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

www.espn.com – MLB