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Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. is dealing with some right knee irritation

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. has some irritation around his meniscus in his surgically repaired right knee.

The reigning NL MVP had an MRI on Friday. He will be evaluated on Monday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who repaired the outfielder's torn right ACL in July 2021.

The 26-year-old Acuña is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, but that timeline could change after he sees ElAttrache in California.

“Right now we’re trying to be optimistic,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters in Florida on Saturday. “Maybe just a couple of weeks or whatever, just to calm everything down. But honestly, I don’t know until we get what the doctor out there says.”

Acuña led Atlanta to its sixth consecutive NL East title in 2023. The outfielder hit a career-best .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 steals in 159 games.

Acuña got into a rundown between second and third in the third inning of Thursday's 5-0 split-squad win against Minnesota. He was replaced before the start of the sixth and then was scratched from Atlanta's lineup on Friday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Jay Cohen, The Associated Press