Braves' nightmares could come true with latest Ronald Acuna Jr. injury update

Ronald Acuna Jr. getting hurt is the last thing the Braves needed this spring.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

If you were going to make a list of the players the Atlanta Braves could not afford to lose, Ronald Acuna Jr. would be at the top of the list. The defending NL MVP is such a crucial part of the Braves offense and the energy they bring every single game. There is no replacing a guy like that even for a lineup as formidable as the Braves'.

Unfortunately, that prospect is very much in play right now. Yesterday, Acuna Jr. was scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his knee that was bad enough for him to go see a doctor. When those initial scans showed some inflammation to his meniscus, he is now going to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache in LA to make sure nothing else is going on.

Acuna Jr.'s knee injury could be trouble, but so far the Braves are optimistic

Given that Acuna Jr. had a severe knee injury to the same knee previously, it seems as though the Braves are just being extremely cautious with him as they should. ElAttrache is the same doctor that performed his previous knee surgery, so sending him back to make sure everything is structurally sound makes a ton of sense and not necessarily indicative of a bigger problem.

So far, the Braves seem to think that this is just a minor hiccup and that Acuna Jr. will be ready to go for the regular season. Given that the first set of scans don't seem to have shown any tears, it appears as though that Ronald just tweaked his knee and may just need a little bit of time for things to calm down. If that includes a short IL stint, the Braves could live with that.

However, if his consultation in LA reveals a bigger issue, Acuna Jr. could be out for a lot longer than that and could severely hamper the Braves' chances of getting another 100 win season.

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