Inter Miami‘s star forward Lionel Messi is in doubt for the upcoming U.S. Open Cup final, as confirmed by Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino, reported by GOAL. Messi's injury concern arose during a Major League Soccer (MLS) clash with Toronto FC, where he was forced to leave the field after just 37 minutes of play.
The Argentine superstar recently returned to domestic action with Inter Miami after sustaining a knock while on international duty with the Argentine national team during World Cup qualifying matches. However, his comeback was cut short due to this injury concern. Alongside Messi, Spanish defender Jordi Alba, who also missed Inter Miami's previous fixture, was substituted early in the same game.
Inter Miami is taking a cautious approach with both Messi and Alba, prioritizing their recovery and well-being. Tata Martino stated that they would be monitoring the players and consulting medical reports before making decisions about their availability for the U.S. Open Cup final, scheduled for September 27, as well as for the MLS clash against Orlando City.
While Martino provided some insights into Messi's injury, noting that it appears to be related to an old scar rather than a muscular issue, he emphasized the need for caution. Messi, who has made an immediate impact at Inter Miami, has scored 11 goals in 12 appearances for the club, despite not finding the net since August 27.
Martino expressed the club's commitment to ensuring that Lionel Messi and Alba are fully fit before returning to action, emphasizing that they won't play unless they are in the right condition. This cautious approach reflects Inter Miami's desire to have both players available for future challenges and to maintain their impressive form in the league and cup competitions.