Lionel Messi was subbed off with an injury in the first half of Inter Miami’s 4-0 win against Toronto FC in MLS action on Wednesday.
Messi, 36, was substituted after 37 minutes by Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino amid a lot of bemusement but now the picture has become a lot clearer.
The Argentina superstar missed Miami’s defeat at Atlanta last weekend and that came after he also missed Argentina’s 3-0 win in Bolivia over the recent international break due to an unspecified injury.
Latest update on Lionel Messi injury arrives
Speaking after Inter Miami’s 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Sunday, Martino gave the following update on Messi’s condition.
“It’s very difficult to give him a percentage because we have to take it day by day. We’ll continue to evaluate him and, as I always say, I will listen to him first and see how he’s feeling,” Martino said. “Then we’ll also need to evaluate future risks. It’s not an easy decision, but we’re going to take the right amount of time to try to not make a mistake.”
Will Messi make the Open Cup final?
All of the focus will be on whether or not Messi and Jordi Alba, who also went off injured against Toronto, will be fit for the huge U.S. Open Cup final at home against Houston Dynamo on Wednesday (watch live 8:30pm ET on Peacock and Telemundo en Espanol).
All of Miami’s fans, and pretty much everyone aside from the Houston Dynamo faithful, will be hoping Messi recovers enough to play some part in the Open Cup final on home soil.
It seems like Miami are managing him very delicately as they would love to have him fully available for that huge cup final.
Miami are now just a few points off the playoff places in MLS and are red-hot favorites to win a second trophy just two months into the Messi era in Major League Soccer.
But they have to make sure they’re sensible with how they handle Messi’s small issue and hats off to Martino who is tackling the problem head on when many others would probably buckle under the pressure to just keep on playing Messi.