'Protect us all in these challenging times' - Martinez thankful for support after undergoing successful surgery

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Josef Martinez Atlanta 2019
The Atlanta United star suffered a torn ACL in his side's MLS season-opener

Josef Martinez announced on Wednesday that he has undergone successful surgery after tearing his ACL during Atlanta United's season-opener against Nashville SC.

On Wednesday, Martinez underwent the operation to repair that torn ligament under the care of Dr. Volker Musahl and Dr. Freddie Fu, the latter of whom was credited as the man responsible with saving Zlatan Ibrahimovic's career after a similar injury suffered while the Swedish star was with Manchester United.

Martinez, the 2018 MLS MVP, was already in solid form to start the season, having bagged two goals in a two-legged victory over Honduran club Motagua in the opening round of the Concacaf Champions League before suffering the injury in Atlanta's 2-1 win over Nashville in the season-opening match.

The Venezuelan forward is expected to miss most of, if not all of, the MLS season, although the league's suspension due to the coronavirus could result in a late-season return for the forward.

Until then, though, he'll have a long road back as he thanked doctors, teammates and fans in the aftermath of his surgery.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

"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," he said in a statement on Instagram. 

"I want to personally thank UPMC in Pittsburgh, doctors Freddie Fu and Volker Musahl, Atlanta United, 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."

Martinez has been one of the most dominant goalscorers in league history since signing with Atlanta during the club's expansion season.

He broke the league record for goals in a season with his 31-goal haul in 2018, although that record has since been topped by Carlos Vela.

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Martinez scored 77 goals in 84 MLS matches, including 27 goals in 29 games last campaign.

Following Martinez's injury, Atlanta United played two more matches: a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati in MLS play and a 3-0 loss to Club America in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal clash.

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