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Atlanta blow as Martinez suffers knee injury

Los Angeles (AFP) – Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez suffered a torn knee ligament in his team’s victory against Nashville, the club said Sunday, almost certainly ending the Venezuelan international’s season after only one game.

The 26-year-old 2018 Major League Soccer MVP left Saturday’s 2-1 win over Nashville in the 69th minute with an injury to his right leg.

Atlanta confirmed on Sunday that Martinez had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

“Martinez will undergo surgery on a date to be determined to begin the rehabilitation process,” the club said in a statement.

Surgery to repair torn knee ligaments often requires lengthy rehabilitation, making it highly likely Martinez’s 2020 season is over.

The Venezuelan striker is one of MLS’s most prolific goalscorers, bagging 90 goals in 103 appearances for Atlanta in all competitions since joining the expansion side in 2017.

Martinez’s injury also rules him out of consideration for Venezuela’s Copa America squad. Martinez has scored 11 goals in 51 appearances for Venezuela since 2011.

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