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The Atlanta Braves have activated star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. from the injured list, where he had been since suffering a torn right ACL last July.
The Braves announced the move on Thursday after originally targeting a May 6 return date. The reigning World Series champions decided he was ready to be activated after Acuna went seven for 19 (.368) with one double, three stolen bases and six walks during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett.
The 24-year-old had been named to his second All-Star Game and was in the NL MVP conversation before injuring his knee while trying to make a leaping catch in the outfield at Marlins Park on July 10.
At the time of his injury, he had compiled a .283/.394/.596 slash line with 24 home runs and a league-leading 72 runs scored in 82 games.
The knee injury sidelined him for the final three months of the regular season and forced him to miss Atlanta’s run to the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1995.
The Braves are off to an 8-11 start to the 2022 season, already five and a half games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets. They will conclude a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday at Truist Park before embarking on a seven-game trip to face the Texas Rangers and Mets.