Ronald Acuna Jr. goes 1-for-3 with double in first rehab start ahead of long-awaited return to Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. went 1-for-3 with a double in his first rehab appearance Tuesday night for Triple-A Gwinnett.

Acuna, returning from a torn ACL, batted leadoff for the visiting Stripers, flying out to center field in his first at bat, doubling off the wall in right-center in his second and then finishing his evening with a groundout to third.

He was replaced in right field in the sixth inning.

Pitching for Jacksonville was 23-year-old righty Max Meyer, ESPN's 33rd-ranked overall prospect. The Jumbo Shrimp won 2-0.

Speaking after the game, Acuna said he was excited to be back on the field for the first time since tearing his right ACL in July 2021.

"I didn't know if I would come back and be the same. Now I'm healthy again. Actually, I feel I'm better than I was," he told reporters, according to The Athletic.

When he rejoins the Braves has yet to be determined. The team had targeted a May return, and it opens a lengthy homestand May 6.

But Acuna said Tuesday he hopes to return to the majors sooner than that.

"Very good. Ready to go," he said of his knee.