Inter Miami head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino has revealed that superstar Lionel Messi will miss Sunday’s matchup with Orlando. The coach told reporters on Friday that the Argentine is unfortunately dealing with scar tissue issues. Messi apparently suffered the setback during a recent game with Argentina.
Along with Messi, Martino claimed that Jordi Alba is also injured as well. The defender, however, has complained of muscle pain. The former Barcelona duo missed a recent MLS matchup with Atlanta. Although they returned to the starting lineup against Toronto on Thursday, they were both substituted during the first half of the game.
Coach claims star duo should only be sidelined for few days
“Basically, Leo is still dealing with his old scar tissue, and Jordi with muscle pain,” Martino stated during a press conference on Friday. “They are both day-to-day.”
“The truth is I have not spoken again to Leo since the match, but his experience gives him the capacity even during a match to know when to stop, when to say enough and when to take precautions,” continued Martino.
“It seems very prudent at this stage in his career that he does that more than ever. And I say this on behalf of all of us, because we want to see Leo on the pitch for a long time. It is good for me that he is aware that he notices when he has to stop this, like he did in the Ecuador game.”
Messi starred in Argentina’s narrow 1-0 victory against Ecuador on September 7th. However, the attacker was subbed off late in the second half of the World Cup qualifier. He was then not included in his country’s matchup with Bolivia five days later.
Inter Miami hopes Lionel Messi will be injury free for US Open Cup Final
Reporters looked for clarification regarding the severity of Messi’s latest injury, but Martino could not provide further details. “I am not a doctor. It bothers him, not hurts him. I do not know why,” replied Martino.
“It is probable that these scars bother [him] and don’t allow him to even be mentally free to play a game. It is difficult. We have all experienced pain when we have hit our scars on the corner of a table and this is like that.”
Miami will certainly miss Messi for the MLS rivalry match against Orlando. Nevertheless, the U.S. Open Cup Final is only a few days away. Houston Dynamo is set to travel to Miami on Wednesday, September 27th for the trophy. Inter fans will be hoping that their star is fit and ready to go for the big match.
Photo credit: IMAGO & Icon Sportswire
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