Ronald Acuna Jr., expected to 'be a boost' to Atlanta Braves, sent on Triple-A rehabilitation assignment

SAN DIEGO -- Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday as he nears a return from the torn right ACL that ended his 2021 season.

Atlanta's media relations team said prior to the Braves' game Sunday night against the San Diego Padres that Acuna would join Gwinnett at Jacksonville for a series beginning Tuesday.

"I'm sure he's excited to play real games under lights," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It's winding down to where we can get him back. That will be a boost for this club."

The 24-year-old Acuna is a two-time All-Star and was playing like an MVP contender last season before injuring his right knee in the outfield at Marlins Park on July 10. He was hitting .283 with 24 homers and a .990 OPS in 82 games at the time of the injury, and was left a spectator for Atlanta's World Series title run.

Acuna opened this season on the 10-day injured list and has been working out at the club's spring training facility in North Port, Florida.

The Braves (5-6), the defending World Series champions, saw a two-game winning streak end with a 2-1 series-finale loss to the Padres.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.