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ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The star player of Atlanta United, Josef Martinez, joined his team in training on Tuesday after successful arthroscopic surgery to clean out debris in his right knee. The return of Martinez energized the team as they prepared to face the dangerous Nashville SC on Saturday, May 21, at GEODIS Park.

Before his injury, Martínez led the team in goals and was tied for team leader in assists. He was the first Atlanta United player this season to receive MLS Team of the Week honors for his Week 1 performance. In the home opener against Sporting Kansas City, he assisted two of Atlanta United’s three goals and played 75 minutes in the team’s 3-1 victory.

Since he became part of the United roster, Martinez has had an excellent career with the team. Martinez, 28, is the club’s all-time leading scorer. In 2018, he scored 31 goals to win the league’s Golden Boot award. That same year, he became the first-ever to win the regular season, MLS Cup, and MLS All-Star MVP, all in the same season.

On March 2, 2020, Martínez tore his ACL and missed most of the 2020 season. Despite facing some setbacks during his rehabilitation, Martínez made a full recovery and appeared in his first match since the injury on April 17, 2021, against Orlando City.

Mexican striker Ronaldo Cisneros is pleased with the impending return of Martinez to the field. “Josef is a great player,” Cisneros said. “He was named the best player in the league. I would dare to say that he’s the best player in the history of the club… he’s such an important player at this club, and hopefully, I’ll get to play with him soon,” Cisneros added.