Martins will miss Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League game getting treatment for a recurring knee injury, and might miss more games.
TUKWILA — The hits keep coming for Sounders FC.
A franchise-worst start to the MLS season. A daunting deficit in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Most recently, a concerning injury to its exciting new addition, forward Obafemi Martins.
Martins, a designated player, left the team to seek treatment for an aggravated tendon above his knee, coach Sigi Schmid said Thursday.
Martins will miss Tuesday’s second leg of the CCL series against Mexico’s Santos Laguna. Seattle lost at home, 1-0, in the first leg without him.
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“He’s had this injury before and he was treated by a doctor, so we’ve let him go back to see that doctor,” Schmid said. “He’ll be back early next week. We’ll be in communication and hopefully whatever the (doctor) did the last time will resolve it and he’ll be able to do it again.”
Schmid wouldn’t specify where Martins will be traveling, but it is expected to be overseas.
The hope is Martins will be ready for an April 13 league game against New England.
“He was going to be out for Tuesday anyway,” Schmid said, “so we figured now was a good window to… get that fixed.”
The Sounders also have injury concerns with forwards Eddie Johnson (toe/hamstring) and David Estrada (eye) stemming from Saturday’s loss at Real Salt Lake. Johnson participated in warm-ups only in Thursday’s practice and Estrada wasn’t active.
Martins’ injury, which initially flared up while with the Nigerian national team two weeks ago, was also aggravated Saturday.
So did Schmid regret any of those lineup decisions in hindsight?
“Oba was the only one we put on the field where… maybe we should have said no,” the coach said. “We’re at the early stages with him. I don’t know him that well. He wanted to try and push through it, so we gave him that opportunity.”
Another of Sounders FC’s new designated players, Shalrie Joseph, made his debut Tuesday. The midfielder had been dealing with a calf strain and fitness issues since being acquired in a February trade with Chivas USA.
“I wasn’t as sharp as I would like to be — I haven’t played in like four to five months — but it felt great getting that first game under my belt and I’m looking forward to next week,” Joseph said.
The addition of an 11-year MLS veteran is a welcome boost to a Seattle team that has been perpetually dealing with personnel issues.
“The more we practice together and the more we work together, I think the sky is the limit for this team,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to start winning games, but we’ll do that.”
• As of Wednesday, about 27,000 tickets had been sold for a June 11 World Cup qualifier between the U.S. men’s national team and Panama, according to a U.S. Soccer spokesman. The game will be held at CenturyLink Field, Seattle’s first qualifier in 37 years.
• Schmid said backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann played well in Tuesday’s CCL game but there is no controversy at the position: “Michael (Gspurning) has done nothing to put that job into jeopardy, and I think Marcus has been around enough that he understands that. But it’s good to know that we have two quality goalkeepers.”
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @joshuamayers