Braves’ Acuna begins baseball activities as injury rehab progresses

Video: Ronald Acuna’s injury.

LOS ANGELES – Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna began hitting balls off a tee Friday in Atlanta, the first baseball activities for the rookie phenom since he injured his left knee and lower back in a frightening tumble May 27.

“I saw some video of it; he looked fine,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Acuna’s workout. “He hit off the tee and did a little jogging. He said he felt good. So that’s good. Starting the progression now.”

Snitker, speaking before Friday night’s series opener at Dodger Stadium, said he had no timetable for Acuna’s return from the disabled list, but that Friday was a significant step and he would increase baseball activities each day.

As soon as he’s worked up to taking batting practice, doing sprints and fielding fly balls, he could begin a minor league rehab assignment. That could be as soon as next week.

“Just see where he’s at probably once we get back home, after the (Monday) off day,” Snitker said, adding that the start of the rehab assignment “just depends on how he feels tomorrow and then the following day. Again, I’m not going to put any (timetable). I don’t know when he’s going to go. ...

“Get him on the field, do some flips (balls flipped to a hitter in a controlled setting). I’m sure he’ll do a little more tomorrow than what he did today. Accelerate the running. Because he feels good. It was just good to get him started toward that end now.”

Though it appears he’ll be on the disabled list for closer to three weeks than 10 days, the mere fact that Acuna was doing baseball activities less than two weeks after what initially looked like a major injury was another encouraging development in Snitker’s view.

Acuna, who took a traumatic fall when his left foot got caught in the dirt after he crossed first base on infield hit, was diagnosed with a sprained ACL along with a left-knee knee contusion and a lower-back contusion.

“It’s really good -- what he’s doing right now is amazing, after looking at what happened,” Snitker said. “The fact that he’s doing what he’s doing now is really good.”