If you’re worried about the long-term health of Josef Martinez, a ray of hope peered through the clouds today. The Venezuelan missed both matches against Orlando City due to a foot contusion, and rumbles on how long this injury will last have begun to echo throughout the Atlanta United social media pages.
Darren Eales joined 92.9 The Game for his weekly interview and spoke about the very issue. Unfortunately, 92.9 The Game did not archive the interview so the quotes aren’t exact, but the club president said that had the previous two games been playoff games, the situation for head coach Tata Martino would've been different. Essentially, Martinez would’ve played.
But the coaching staff is playing the long game. They’d rather have Martinez fully healthy for the final stretch of games instead of playing him right now and risk re-aggravating or making the injury worse. It’s the smart play with so many games still left in the season and many of them at home.
No, there’s no current timetable for his return, but trust that the Atlanta United front office and coaching staff know what they’re doing. Until then, Villalba must continue being the hero we need.