Lionel Messi will skip Inter Miami’s game at Atlanta United on Saturday having not travelled with the team due to fatigue, a club source has told AFP.
The Major League Soccer clash at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium had been expected to attract a crowd of over 70,000.
Messi had sat out Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in La Paz but watched his team-mates from the bench.
The forward had been substituted in the final minutes of the 1-0 win over Ecuador on September 7, after scoring the winner, but there have been no reports of an injury.
He had played 11 games in 44 days for Miami before the international break.
Asked about Messi’s involvement in the game on Friday, Miami coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino said: “He is fine….obviously, we will be very cautious going forward with Leo because we have a lot of important games in a short span, and we don’t want Leo or any other player to get injured.”
Atlanta play on an artificial surface but Messi had previously said that he did not consider such fields to be a problem for him and the source confirmed that had not been a factor in the decision.
Miami, who are attempting to rise from their pre-Messi position at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, into the playoff spots, have another game on Wednesday at home to Toronto FC.