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Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates after he scored a goal in the second half during Eastern Conference semifinals of MLS playoffs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Atlanta United won 2-0 over the Philadelphia Union. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@)
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Still no timetable for Martinez, ‘a fighter, a strong guy’

Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez is recovering well from surgery on his right knee, but there remains no timetable on a return, according to team Vice President Carlos Bocanegra.

Martinez suffered a torn ACL in the season-opening win Feb. 29 at Nashville. He underwent surgery during the week of March 16.

“He’s a fighter, a strong guy,” Bocanegra said.

Martinez has been rehabbing the knee at the team’s training facility, which is allowed under MLS rules during COVID-19 sheltering, under the supervision of Piedmont Healthcare.

Bocanegra said there is no timetable on Martinez’s return because the team wants to make sure that he is doing well physically, mentally and emotionally before he takes the field, so there’s no need to rush him back.

Atlanta United has never offered a recovery timetable. However, typically, a player can take four to six months — and possibly up to nine — to make a complete recovery from such an injury. 

The league hasn’t announced when games will resume, nor what a new schedule may look like.

Martinez signed a five-year contract extension before the 2019 season. The 26-year-old has scored 77 goals in 84 regular-season games. He was named the league MVP in 2018 in helping the team win the MLS Cup.

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