Atlanta United's Josef Martinez undergoes knee surgery

Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez
Image: Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez has undergone knee surgery

Atlanta United star Josef Martinez underwent surgery on his right knee, more than two weeks after he tore the ACL during the league-opening match at Nashville.

Martinez posted an update on his Instagram page after the operation at UPMC hospital in Pittsburgh. The striker was smiling and giving a thumbs-up as he posed in his bed alongside one of his doctors, Volker Musahl.

Also performing the surgery was Freddie Fu, the Pittsburgh-based orthopaedic specialist who was hailed for saving Zlatan Ibrahimovic's career after he ruptured knee ligaments in 2017.

View this post on Instagram

In the midst of the humanitarian crisis we are all living through, in which more than ever we need to think about and take care of each other, just wanted to share that I'm blessed that my knee surgery today went well. I want to personally thank UPMC in Pittsburgh, doctors Freddie Fu and Volker Musahl (pictured), @atlutd , my teammates and most of all the city of Atlanta for the unconditional support. Also, everyone in Venezuela and around the world for the good wishes and support. God bless and protect us all in these challenging times 🙏❤️. En medio de todo lo que está padeciendo la humanidad, que nos tiene aferrados en cuidarnos, protegernos y orando por quienes más lo necesitan, quisiera hacer un paréntesis para anunciarles que gracias a Dios todo salió bien hoy en la operación de rodilla a la que fui sometido. Agradezco al Hospital UPMC de Pittsburgh; a los doctores Freddie Fu y Volker Musahl (foto); al @atlutd y a la ciudad por el apoyo constante; a mis seres queridos; y a todos ustedes mi gente querida de Venezuela y desde muchas partes del mundo por sus buenos deseos, muestras de cariño y darme fuerzas en la recuperación. Dios nos bendiga y proteja a todos por estos días que tanto lo necesitamos 🙏🏻❤

A post shared by Josef Martinez (@josefmartinez17) on

Martinez was injured on February 29 in a 2-1 victory over Nashville to open the Major League Soccer season. He is expected to be out for much of he year, though the season is now on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

After he was injured, Atlanta United played two more games, a 2-1 victory over Cincinnati in the MLS and a 3-0 loss at Mexican powerhouse America in the opening leg of the CONCACAF quarter-finals, before all competitions were halted for at least a month in an effort to stem the virus from spreading.

Josef Martinez of Atlanta United is stretchered off in their MLS match with Nashville
Image: Josef Martinez of Atlanta United is stretchered off in their MLS match with Nashville

It could take up to six months for Martinez to recover from his injury, which means he might be able to return before the end of the season.

It could be next season before Martinez fully recaptures the form that carried him to a then-record 31 goals two seasons ago, when he led Atlanta United to the MLS Cup title. The mark was broken last season when Carlos Vela scored 34 goals for Los Angeles FC.

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Martinez has tallied 77 goals in 84 MLS matches since entering the league for Atlanta's debut season in 2017. He had 27 goals in 29 regular-season matches last season.

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