Will Braves’ Ronald Acuña return to the lineup Friday?

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

PHILADELPHIA – Days ago, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña expressed concern and frustration because he could not put any pressure on his left foot. The Braves took off for Philadelphia, but left their superstar in Atlanta for treatment.

ExploreMore AJC coverage of the Braves

Acuña joined the team for Thursday’s series finale against the Phillies. He was not in the lineup, but he said he feels normal. After Thursday’s 14-4 loss to the Phillies, manager Brian Snitker said Acuña was available off the bench and that he assumes the outfielder will be in Friday’s lineup in Cincinnati.

Acuña felt a sense of relief after progressing over the past few days.

“It feels really good,” he said through interpreter Franco García. “To be completely honest, I was a little nervous just because of the amount of pain that I was feeling on the top of my foot. When you feel that, you don’t know what’s going on with it. You start wondering all these things, you start spiraling. Is it broken? Is something wrong? Is it going to be more serious than it is? Thankfully, after all the recovery work and all the rehab process, it feels really good.

“I’m really happy to be back to normal.”

Acuña on Thursday was not using a medical scooter. In Atlanta, he received treatment for two to three hours a day. He found the exercises in the pool to be especially helpful to his recovery.

The Braves won both games against the Phillies with Acuña back in Atlanta. They play the Reds – who are not a contender – this weekend. But going forward, they will need their star player.

He seems to believe everything is headed in the correct direction.

“To be honest, I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel back to myself compared to a few days ago, when it felt like I couldn’t walk,” Acuña said.

Said Snitker: “I’ll put him in there when (the medical team tells me) he’s ready to go.”

Acuña said he has sprinted. Snitker said the Braves worked Acuña pretty hard to check his health. Both Acuña and the team have said this will be a day-to-day approach.

In Saturday’s game, Acuña fouled a ball off his foot in the third inning. He continued playing, but eventually couldn’t stand the pain and left the game before the top of the ninth. Given that it could have been a fracture, the Braves and Acuña seemingly feel lucky they avoided anything worse.

“You never know,” Snitker said. “Feet, hands, all them little bones in there, you just never know what it might show when they look at him.”

This season, Acuña is batting .281 with an .828 OPS. He has seven homers and 18 RBIs. He has stolen 13 bases in 43 games.

What would keep Acuña out of the lineup Friday?

“I feel good, and I’m just going to keep doing my work and keep putting in whatever I have to do to keep the recovery process going,” Acuña said. “But I feel good. If the determination is that it’s best not to be in the lineup, then that’s a decision that’ll be made, and that’s what we’ll do.”