Atlanta’s Martinez injured on international duty

The striker was substituted off in the second half of Venezuela’s World Cup qualifying match and is expected to be out at least 10 days

Atlanta United will have a nervous couple of weeks while it awaits the return of striker Josef Martinez.

Martinez was substituted off in the 59th minute of Venezuela’s 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw Peru. He appeared to take a bad step on the turf, leading to an injury.

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Venezuela head coach Rafael Dudamel suggested Martinez will need 10 days to recoveradding that it was not safe for the striker to travel at the current time. That would rule Martinez out of Venezuela’s next match against Chile on March 28.

Atlanta’s next contest is March 31 against the Seattle Sounders. If the 10-day timetable is accurate, Martinez would be a longshot for that game. A likelier target date is April 8’s match against Toronto FC.

The in-form striker had bagged five goals in the two games prior to the international break for the expansion side. While he originally joined Atlanta on loan, the MLS side made the move permanent this week.

Kenwyne Jones, who is currently on international duty as well with Trinidad and Tobago, would be appear to be Martinez’s likely replacement if the striker cannot return in time.

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