Braves' MVP OF Ronald Acuña Jr. tears ACL in non-contact fall against Pirates

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. tore his ACL on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Braves announced the injury Sunday night after he underwent an MRI. He'll miss the remainder of the season.

The injury took place as Acuña took a lead on the base paths from second base in the first inning of Atlanta's 8-1 win. He fell to the turf in obvious pain and grabbed his left leg. He remained on the ground for several moments while being tended to by trainers. He was eventually able to walk off the field, but he did not return to the game.

Acuña, 26, is a four-time All-Star and the reigning National League MVP. He led the league in runs, hits, stolen bases and on-base percentage in 2023 while slashing .337/.416/.596 with 41 home runs, 106 RBI, 149 runs scored and 73 stolen bases. In 48 games this season, he slahed .246/.348/.356 with four home runs, 15 RBI and 16 stolen bases.

Sunday's injury took place in the top half of the first inning of a scoreless game. Acuña reached base with a leadoff double, then suffered the injury as he attempted to steal third base. The Braves left Sunday's game with the third-best record in the NL at 30-20, 6.5 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies (38-15) in the NL East.

Acuña's is the second season-altering injury for for a Braves team hoping to compete for its second World Series victory in four seasons. All-Star starter Spencer Strider pitched just two games this season before undergoing season-ending internal brace surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. Strider finished fourth in last year's Cy Young voting and was among the preseason favorites to compete for the award this year.

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