Braves: Ozzie Albies comments on Ronald Acuña Jr’s injury

Braves Ozzie Albies

It’s a somber day for the entirety of Braves Country following the news late last night that an MRI revealed a complete tear of the ACL in Ronald Acuña Jr’s left knee. It goes without saying there is no replacing Ronald Acuña Jr. That doesn’t mean the Braves can’t win without him; they proved as much back in 2021. But it doesn’t change the fact that it will be infinitely more difficult.

However, World Series hopes are the last thing on the minds of many today. Coming back from one catastrophic knee injury is one thing, doing it again is a much more difficult task, both physically and mentally. As a fan, it’s impossible not to feel for what Acuña is going through, and it almost doesn’t feel right that his teammates have to lock back in and somehow get ready for a game today.

“Broken,” Ozzie Albies said of his initial reaction to the news of Acuña’s injury. “For him to go through this again, I know it’s hard. It’s not something easy. I’ve been hurt myself, so I know what it feels like. It’s tough, and I know he’s just going to keep his mind ready and strong through this rehab so he can be back next year stronger than ever.”

The relationship between Acuña and Albies has been well-documented throughout their careers. They came up together through the Braves system and have been inseparable ever since. It’ll be those relationships that Acuña will have to lean on during this road to recovery. Because while the physical aspect of a lengthy rehab can be extremely difficult, the mental aspect is often overlooked, which is something Acuña himself discussed in his Player’s Tribune article prior to the season. 

“This year is a big one,” Acuña said. “For our team. And for me personally.

​There is so much unfinished business for me with the Atlanta Braves, and I am prepared to do everything in my power to help us win another World Series. This time, though, I want to be a big part of it when it happens.

​That year when I tore my ACL, 2021 … that was like a nightmare for me in so many ways. And I want to do everything I can to put it in the past. Back then, I couldn’t walk for a long time, for months. I felt helpless. And I absolutely fell into a depression. At the time, I would always ask my friends: “Do you think I’ll play again? Do you believe I will return as the same player?” And they would all tell me everything was going to be fine.”

While Acuña is one of the game’s biggest stars, the article he did for the Player’s Tribune, which was outstanding from start to finish, really gave the public a peak behind the curtain to who he is as a person. He goes through the highs and lows of life just like the rest of us; he just happens to be put on this earth to play baseball. When that gets taken away, it takes a mental toll that few can relate to.

Ozzie Albies is one of those few, and that relationship could be key to Acuña coming back stronger than ever.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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