Atlanta United star Josef Martinez out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

Josef Martinez ATL

UPDATE (April 8) – Atlanta United will be without star striker Josef Martinez for 6-8 weeks after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to clean out debris in his right knee, the club announced Friday.

Martinez previously had ACL surgery on the same knee in 2020, though recovered for the 2021 campaign. This year, the Designated Player has 2g/2a through five matches.

With Martinez out through possibly early June, ATLUTD count Jackson Conway, Dom Dwyer and Ronaldo Cisneros as leading options at striker.

ORIGINAL (April 4) – Atlanta United star striker Josef Martinez has traveled to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for a reexamination of his right knee after expressing recent discomfort, the club announced Monday.

Martinez, the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, missed nearly the entirety of Atlanta’s 2020 campaign after tearing his right ACL. The 28-year-old Venezuelan international previously noted that amid his recovery, he explored the possibility of retiring.

Atlanta will provide an update on Martinez’s status upon review of results from UPMC doctors.

Furthermore, defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is out long-term after suffering an ACL tear in his left knee during last weekend’s 1-0 win at D.C. United. Alonso's recovery timeline is to be determined.

The Five Stripes also announced that midfielder Matheus Rossetto will miss approximately 2-4 weeks with a left hamstring injury.

Martinez is in his second year since recovering from his torn ACL, notching 14 goals and three assists in 29 matches over the last season-plus. He's been one of the league's top strikers since joining Atlanta for their 2017 expansion campaign, notching double-digit goals every year he's been healthy.

Alonso, 36, joined ATLUTD via free agency this past winter as a veteran addition who was remarkably dependent for Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United FC during his previous stops. He joined MLS in 2009 during Seattle's expansion season.

These updates add to an already significant injury list at Atlanta, with midfielder Emerson Hyndman continuing to recover from a torn ACL. Brazilian winger Luiz Araújo, a Designated Player alongside Martinez and league-record signing Thiago Almada, is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Atlanta, in head coach Gonzalo Pineda’s first year at the helm, are third in the Eastern Conference standings (3W-1L-1D record, 10 points). They return to action on Sunday when visiting expansion side Charlotte FC (1:30 pm ET | ABC, ESPN Deportes).