As if a 3-1 win in front of a sold-out crowd wasn't enough, there was more good news for Atlanta United fans after Sunday's match against New York City FC. It came in the post-match news conference, when Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra gave an update on the health of one of the team's most potent offensive threats: Venezuelan forward Josef Martínez.
“[Josef] is doing very well,” Bocanegra said. “He is back in training and it is up to the medical staff and our coaching staff to work together to manage his minutes. It is more about fitness with these guys when you are out for so long. It is just catching your wind. He is good. Everything else is good. It is just about getting him fit and ready to contribute minutes.”
Martínez shot to the top of the MLS scoring charts with a blistering 5 goals in the first 3 games of the season, but an injury suffered on international duty has forced him to the sidelines since then. Atlanta United hasn't suffered much in the scoring department – with a league-leading 27 goals through just 12 games so far – but Martínez was still the team's top scorer until this weekend. Having one of the league's most exciting strikers getting one step closer to rejoining an already-humming attack is good news for fans of the Five Stripes.
Team doctors are cutting no corners getting their star striker back up to speed. Josef posted the latest addition to his rehab regiment on Instagram.
No, Josef is not training to be an astronaut. That's called a GyroStim, a cognitive training device that's intended to make sure his mind is as ready as his body to hit the ground running in his return to training.
After back-to-back wins at home, Atlanta United will be hoping to keep their momentum going on the road. Consecutive road games against the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Chicago Fire are next in the calendar before the red, black and gold return to Bobby Dodd Stadium to face the Columbus Crew on June 17th.