Should we be worried about Ronald Acuña Jr.’s health?

Braves FanGraphs Acuna

The Braves announced their lineup for Tuesday night, and there was once again a notable absence.

This will be the third consecutive game Ronald Acuña has missed with discomfort in his surgically repaired knee, and it’s a bit more worrisome considering that the plan was for him to be in the lineup tonight.

Rain could be a factor. It is supposed to pour down pretty heavily before the game tonight, and the Braves have opted to sit Acuña in similar weather conditions. But it is impossible to ignore that several times this season, Acuña has talked about how the injury has prevented him from playing at 100%.

“They explained to me that this is just going to be part of the procedure and part of the process of coming back and everything,” Acuña said before Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, via David O’Brien of The Athletic. “To be honest, it was some pretty intense pains over the past couple of days. And this is just all something that I’ve never really experienced before in my life, so it’s all new to me.

In the same article, Brian Snitker acknowledged that the discomfort isn’t something that’s going to go away this season, “It’s just something we know he’s going to have to fight through.”

On the one hand, I want to act like everything is fine, and this is nothing more than precautionary action from the Braves to keep Ronald Acuña as healthy as possible for the postseason. After all, he has been extremely productive in August, hitting .319 with an .860 OPS in 24 games. The power numbers may be down, but he’s still performing like one of the best players in the game, and his mere presence in the lineup is enough to give pitchers fits.

On the flip side, the amount of times Acuña has mentioned the pain and the severity in which it affects him is worrisome. He clearly feels uncomfortable, especially recently. If one tiny thing goes wrong between now and the end of the season, it may be the last we see of Acuña this year. I would like the Braves to put their best foot forward to chase the Mets over the final month, but I don’t blame the organization for prioritizing Acuña’s health now and in the future. Don’t be shocked if he misses quite a bit of time over the final month in order to keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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