ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are in the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive season.
Of course, a key member of the Braves is missing: superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. who has been recovering since July from an ACL surgery.
Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein caught up with Acuña ahead of Game 2 Sunday at Truist Park as he watched his teammates during warmups and batting practice.
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Klein asked Acuña how he has been feeling after the surgery and where he is in the recovery process.
“I feel great. You know, thank God and, it feels like it’s been a while just without really moving and walking the way I want to. But you know, just in the process of the grind and, you know, with the rehab and breaking efforts to be ready to go next year,” he said.
Acuña torn his ACL during a July 10 game against the Miami Marlins. The outfielder was jumping for a fly ball when he went down awkwardly and immediately grabbed his right knee.
He later had season-ending surgery. The Braves rallied behind their teammate and finished with one of the best records post-All Star Game break to win the National League East division.
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Acuña told Klein the toughest part of his recovery has been watching the playoffs knowing he isn’t out there to compete.
“It’s kind of like probably one of the hardest days I’ve had since the operation to be honest. The hardest moments just because, you know, ballplayer I’ve gotten so accustomed to being here at the ballpark and being able to compete with my teammates, my brothers,” Acuña said.
“So it’s hard to feel like, I’m here at the stadium and I can’t go out there and be with them. But you know, it’s part of it, you know, it’s part of the process and it’s just gotta embrace it and keep working to get back.”
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Klein asked Acuña when he thinks he could get back on the field in an Atlanta Braves uniform.
The outfielder said it’s hard to nail down the timeline with doctors, coaches and trainers having their estimations. He remains hopeful to return next season.
“For me, it’s a process that I’m not going to rush,” Acuña said. “I want to make sure I do this right.”
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