Hi. Happy Thursday. Not a lot going on today, right? Wrong. Josef Martinez posted video of himself running on a treadmill, perhaps indicating that he could be back playing for Atlanta United sooner than anticipated. Thanks to our friends at Atlanta United Fan TV for capturing the footage.
This is obviously a welcome development. Last time we had a status update on Martinez from manager Frank de Boer on Monday, we were told Martinez was still in significant pain and using crutches. However, De Boer added that the ligaments appeared to be fine and this video is even further indication that the Venezuelan striker might be able to return prior to or for Atlanta United’s first MLS Cup playoff game. That game will be played on October 19 or 20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, giving Martinez almost exactly three weeks from today to be ready. It should be noted that Martinez is running with an inflatable skirt that keeps his legs encapsulated inside some sort of hi-tech healing contraption. But still.
While Brandon Vazquez played well at Yankee Stadium against NYCFC last night, Martinez’s burst of pace and finishing ability may have helped keep Atlanta United afloat in a game that went tits up the moment the team allowed the first of Alexandru Mitrita’s first half hat trick.