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Josef Martínez returns to Atlanta United training

Martínez has not played since Atlanta’s win over the San Jose Earthquakes Sept. 21.

Josef Martinez dribbles during Atlanta United's game vs. the San Jose Earthquakes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, September 21, 2019. (AJ Reynolds-Atlanta United)
Josef Martinez dribbles during Atlanta United's game vs. the San Jose Earthquakes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, September 21, 2019. (AJ Reynolds-Atlanta United)

MARIETTA, Ga. — Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez trained with the first team Wednesday morning. Martínez had been out with knee and ankle injuries.

There is no word whether the Venezuela international will be available for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the New England Revolution. Manager Frank de Boer should provide an update when he addresses local media Friday. 

Martínez was hurt during Atlanta’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Sept. 21. Late in the second half, he collided with a teammate and fell awkwardly, twisting his leg. Atlanta’s medical staff examined Martínez, who initially attempted to remain in the game. He was forced to hobble off in the 79th minute and went to the locker room on a stretcher.

De Boer initially feared a longterm absence, but Martínez’s injuries were not as severe as expected. Asked in the immediate aftermath about Martínez’s potential timeline for recovery, one Atlanta official said they did not think the prognosis would be “that serious.”

“Josef is a maniac,” the official told Pro Soccer USA. “The guy was supposed to miss two-to-three weeks back in August and all he missed was a midweek game.”

Martínez strained an adductor muscle in training the day before Atlanta’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Orlando City Aug. 6. He missed that game, a 2-0 win, but was back in the starting XI the following Sunday versus New York City FC

Martínez has scored 31 goals in all competitions this season, 26 in Major League Soccer play. He missed two Atlanta games last week, a 4-1 loss at New York City and a 1-1 draw at the Montreal Impact.

 

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