Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. says he'll go on injured list after left knee injury

Reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. left Sunday's game at Pittsburgh after injuring his left knee in a non-contact play on the basepaths and told reporters he will be going on the injured list.

Acuña, 26, crumpled to the ground in pain after briefly breaking toward third base − perhaps pondering a delayed steal attempt − before changing direction as the ball was tossed back to Pirates starter Martín Pérez in the first inning Sunday. He twisted awkwardly and remained on the ground for a couple of minutes after Pérez tagged him out.

The Braves announced Acuña left the game with a sore left knee, and manager Brian Snitker told reporters the club will know more on Monday, after learning results of an MRI examination. Acuña said the injury did not feel as severe as the torn ACL in his right knee that ended his season in July 2021, when he was on track for his first MVP award before getting hurt.

The Braves traded for multiple outfielders to fill his absence and won the World Series.

After a recovery-marred 2022 campaign, Acuña returned to top form with a vengeance in 2023, making history as the first player to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases − he hit 41 and stole 73 − in one season. He earned MVP honors in unanimous fashion.

Atlanta won Sunday's game 8-1 after losing seven of its previous 10. Acuña is batting .250 with a .351 on-base percentage, four home runs and 16 steals.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ronald Acuña Jr. injury forces Braves OF to leave game against Pirates