- Left the match against early in 4-0 win over Toronto FC.
- Will miss the match against Orlando City.
- Messi has played in 12 matches over the last 48 days
As Inter Miami battles for a playoff spot and prepares for the U.S. Open Cup final, superstar Lionel Messi’s early exit from a recent match due to an old injury and fatigue casts doubt on his availability for critical upcoming games.
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Soccer star Lionel Messi stepped off the field early during Inter Miami’s 4-0 win over Toronto FC, sparking concerns about his physical state amid an already grueling schedule. Coach Tata Martino confirmed that Messi, along with former FC Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba, is “day-to-day” as the club navigates a challenging six-match stretch in 18 days.
Messi’s immediate future is now the topic of rampant speculation. Martino revealed that Messi will not play in Inter Miami’s forthcoming MLS match against Orlando City. The game, considered vital for Miami’s playoff hopes, will be live-streamed on Apple TV. Further casting a shadow over the team’s prospects is Messi’s uncertain participation in the U.S. Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo on September 27. “There is no way they will enter the field if they are not in a position to do so,” cautioned Martino.
Messi’s physical woes are not new. “It is a scar from an old injury that bothers him,” said Martino, acknowledging the strenuous series of 12 matches Messi played in 48 days since joining Inter Miami. During this period, Messi led the team to an impressive 10-1-0 record with 11 goals. While scans conducted during his stint with the Argentine National Team earlier this month showed no muscle injury, Martino insists the team is taking no chances. “We don’t think he has a muscular injury… but we have to continue being careful,” Martino emphasized.
In his short-lived 37 minutes against Toronto, Messi couldn’t find the net but did have several attempts. This appearance followed a 13-day break after missing two prior matches. Despite the time off, Messi seemed fatigued and was seen stretching his calf area before his eventual exit.
Inter Miami stands with 31 points in the Eastern Conference and has just six MLS matches left, not counting the U.S. Open Cup final. Messi’s uncertain status raises questions not just about the next match against Orlando City, but the club’s ability to make a significant impact in the postseason and the U.S. Open Cup final.
As Inter Miami faces critical matches, Messi’s health will likely remain a focal point for fans and analysts alike. With playoffs on the horizon and a title within reach, all eyes will be on whether the soccer icon can recover in time to lead the team to glory.
The fans of Orlando will certainly be disappointed as they won’t see Messi on the pitch, but not as much as Miami fans who need their star healthy. Messi has played a lot since signing with Inter Miami, and certainly fatigue could be a factor on why he suffered this injury. It is important to have him healthy for their run at the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Final.
According to DraftKings, Inter Miami has the third-best odds (+750) to capture the MLS Cup. Those odds have slightly increased recently with the news of Messi’s injury.