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Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. to miss rest of the MLB season after tearing ACL

By Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — Atlanta Braves outfielder and reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. will miss the rest of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team announced on Sunday night.

The 26-year-old right fielder led the game off with a double. When teammate Marcell Ozuna was up to bat, Acuña tried to steal third base, but his leg buckled awkwardly. He was helped off the field and the team described his injury as “left knee soreness.”

“I saw the catcher throwing the ball back to the pitcher very slow. I was timing that so I could steal third,” Acuña said, per “But in that moment, he threw it hard. So I had to come back, and that’s when I felt it.”

Acuña, who tore his right ACL in 2021, said after the game that he felt the injury wasn’t as severe this time around because he didn’t feel the same pain.

“You never want to see anybody on any side of the field do that. He’s a big part of this team. He’s one of the best players in the game,” Braves pitcher Chris Sale said after the game.

“Sorry,” Acuña posted on X, formerly known as Twitter Sunday night with a broken heart and crying emoji.

The Braves star will undergo surgery “at a date yet to be determined,” the team added.

Acuña has helped lead the Braves to a 30-20 record this season while hitting four home runs, and 15 RBIs with a .250 batting average. The Braves are currently in second place in the NL East, six games back of the Philadelphia Phillies.

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