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Atlanta United's Josef Martinez shares heartfelt Instagram message after ACL injury

Since Josef Martinez suffered a torn ACL Saturday night against Nashville SC, messages of support have poured in from across the Major League Soccer community.

The Atlanta United forward took notice.

Martinez shared an Instagram post Tuesday outside of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, making his first comments since his injury in Atlanta's 2020 season opener.

“Thank you to all who took time to send so many positive and encouraging messages, I read them all and they give me strength in this difficult period,” the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP winner wrote. “Thanks to my teammates, players around the league, other teams and most of all the fans. See you soon.”

Commenters on the post ranged from former Atlanta midfielders Miguel Almiron and Julian Gressel to Tigres forward Andre-Pierre Gignac and former MLB pitcher Johan Santana, who’s also from Venezuela.

No exact timeline has been outlined for Martinez’s recovery, as surgery and the resulting effects come into view. In the meantime, questions have surfaced about how – or if – Atlanta can push for an MLS Cup title without their star forward. In his first three seasons with the Five Stripes, Martinez recorded 77 goals and 11 assists in 84 games for the club. 

The exact impact of the Designated Player's loss will surface in the coming weeks, and the Five Stripes could sign a replacement forward. Budget restrictions will factor in, with the first answer surfacing this Saturday (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, on DAZN in Canada) when they host FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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