Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Acuna Won’t Be Back

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Acuna Won’t Be Back

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

Ronald Acuna

The worst kind of déjà vu. The reigning National League MVP is out for the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, three years after he tore the ACL in his right knee. The latest injury occurred without contact while Acuna made a quick turn during a steal attempt. Despite early optimism that the injury was not significant, medical imaging performed revealed the tear. 

ACL tears are devastating injuries, though it does appear Acuna's injury is an isolated tear, meaning he avoided any additional damage to the menisci or cartilage of the knee. He will undergo surgery in the near future and begin his rehab protocol immediately following the procedure. The Braves slow played his recovery in 2021 and will likely do so again this time around, especially after he reported lingering soreness in the knee throughout the 2022 campaign.

For those looking for a sliver of good news in this disappointing development, the timing of the injury should minimize his time lost in the 2025 season. He missed just over nine months after his 2021injury, meaning a similar timeline would have him back in early March. Furthermore, Acuna has proven he can bounce back from an ACL reconstruction, and a return to form postinjury is possible. Those in single-year formats can move on, but those in dynasty and keeper leagues should remain patient. Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall will see increased in usage with Acuna out.

Xander Bogaerts

The

Ronald Acuna

The worst kind of déjà vu. The reigning National League MVP is out for the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, three years after he tore the ACL in his right knee. The latest injury occurred without contact while Acuna made a quick turn during a steal attempt. Despite early optimism that the injury was not significant, medical imaging performed revealed the tear. 

ACL tears are devastating injuries, though it does appear Acuna's injury is an isolated tear, meaning he avoided any additional damage to the menisci or cartilage of the knee. He will undergo surgery in the near future and begin his rehab protocol immediately following the procedure. The Braves slow played his recovery in 2021 and will likely do so again this time around, especially after he reported lingering soreness in the knee throughout the 2022 campaign.

For those looking for a sliver of good news in this disappointing development, the timing of the injury should minimize his time lost in the 2025 season. He missed just over nine months after his 2021injury, meaning a similar timeline would have him back in early March. Furthermore, Acuna has proven he can bounce back from an ACL reconstruction, and a return to form postinjury is possible. Those in single-year formats can move on, but those in dynasty and keeper leagues should remain patient. Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall will see increased in usage with Acuna out.

Xander Bogaerts

The Padres infielder will miss an extended period of time after suffering a fractured left shoulder while attempting a diving catch. It sounds like Bogaerts broke his scapula, more commonly known as the shoulder blade. Isolated breaks of the scapula are relatively uncommon and usually occur in conjunction with an additional injury like a collarbone or rib fracture. Locations of the fracture often dictate recovery. Body fractures are most common, though other processes of the bone can be broken. Injuries to those areas, like the acromion or glenoid, can be more problematic as they can impact shoulder stability. While the exact site of Bogaerts' injury has not been made public, it sounds like he avoided a glenoid fracture and any accompanying labrum damage.

Even though bone is capable of healing fully and returning to its original strength, time remains a crucial part of recovery. This is particuraly true with the scapula as it is a mobile bone that moves during shoulder motion and may need extra time to completely heal. Furthermore, the scapula is the anchor point for multiple muscles including the muscles of the rotator cuff. As a result, there is likely to be additional soft tissue trauma and that will also need to heal. Based on these considerations, a two-month absence is most likely a best-case scenario for Bogaerts. Luis Arraez is likely to see more time at second base with Bogaerts out.

Check Swings 

Zach Eflin: The Rays right-hander is out with lower back inflammation. He was able to play catch on Sunday but is more likely to return in the later stages of the two to four-week recovery window provided by Tampa Bay. Eflin has a history of lower back issues, raising concern that this issue will linger or resurface. Scale back your expectations here moving forward.

Nathan Eovaldi: The Rangers starter is progressing in his recovery from a strained right groin and could be headed out on a rehab assignment this week. The team remained noncommittal on the exact plan, but manager Bruce Bochy hinted they were leaning toward a rehab outing or two. A return in early June remains the most likely outcome as long as he continues to progress. Eovaldi's return would help a Texas starting staff ravaged by injury. Max Scherzer, Cody Bradford and Jacob deGrom remain languishing on the 60-day injured list, while Jon Gray just landed on the 15-day IL with a groin strain of his own.

Nolan Jones: Last week I prepped fantasy managers on the impending return of Jones. However, the Rockies outfielder had other plans and remains out. However, the reason for his delayed return appears to be a sore right knee and not the back injury that initially sent him to the IL. Jones has yet to resume swinging a bat and remains without a definitive timeline.

Austin Riley: Riley's return could help lessen the impact of Acuna's departure from the lineup. The Braves third baseman has missed 13 straight outings with an intercostal strain. The mild strain involves the muscles located between the ribs, utilized primarily during breathing. The decision not to put Riley on the IL has been frustrating, but the ordeal is slated to end Monday against the Nationals. Plug Riley back in if he's on your roster, but a day or two off in the weeks ahead wouldn't be surprising.

Trea Turner: The Phillies shortstop has suffered a setback in his recovery from a strained left hamstring. Turner has been out for the past three weeks, and after making progress in rehab was cleared to perform higher intensity running over the weekend. However, he reported soreness in the area following the workout, and the Philadelphia medical team will now pause his protocol for the next few days. The team had hoped he would run the bases later this week but that has been tabled for now. It was initially believed he would miss at least six weeks, and this delay will likely ensure his recovery extends beyond that preliminary estimate. 

Wyatt Langford and Steven Kwan: Both outfielders have missed time with hamstring strains but are slated to return soon. Langford spent the weekend with Triple-A Round Rock and could be back with the Rangers as shortly as Tuesday. Kwan appeared in two games with High-A Lake County and hit a three-run home run on Saturday. A return for Kwan will depend on if the Guardians wants him to record anymore reps, but he's trending toward rejoining the team at some point this week. While it will be nice to have both back in action, let Turner's current situation serve as a reminder that hamstring strains are prone to re-injury or aggravation, and both Langford and Kwan will carry an elevated degree of risk moving forward.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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