By Sally Fahey

Reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season, a significant blow to an Atlanta Braves team that already lost ace Spencer Strider for 2024.

The Braves are six games behind the Phils, who are in first place in NL East.

Acuña crumbled between second and third base during the first inning of the Braves’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after his left knee buckled on a delayed steal attempt. An MRI revealed the torn left ACL, which comes less than three years after Acuña suffered the same injury to his right knee while jumping to make a catch in right field.

Acuña, 26, is regarded as one of the best players in Major League Baseball and the franchise player for a Braves team that entered the season as the second likeliest to win the World Series. Despite losing Acuña in 2021, the Braves recovered to sneak into the postseason with 88 wins and romped to their fourth championship.

Atlanta won a major-league-best 104 games last season as Acuña batted .337/.416/.596 with 41 home runs, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases. Never before had a player finished a season with at least 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases, and the achievement thrust Acuña to a unanimous MVP award. The Braves fell to the Phillies in the division series for the second consecutive season.


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