Just under 24 hours until the US Open Cup final, it is still unclear whether Lionel Messi will be able to play for Inter Miami as it seeks its second trophy with the Argentine superstar. Messi did not train with the team on Tuesday and head coach Tata Martino said his playing status will be close to a game-time decision.
“We will decide tomorrow based on how he's feeling,” Martino said, via Ross Devonport.
Messi missed three of Inter Miami's last four games as he deals with a scar tissue problem. He played 37 minutes in a win over Toronto FC last Wednesday, his lone appearance for Miami since scoring a brace against LAFC on Sept. 3
Marinto said that he and Messi have been in constant communication over whether he'll be able to play in Wednesday's final.
“In this case, we sit with him asking how he feels,” Martino said. “Maybe other players, one makes a decision, but here we will make a decision we are in agreement over. Here, there are questions. The player, the [U.S. Open Cup] final, and what comes after. These three scenarios have to be evaluated; it is not just about the next game. Risk is always there, but we try to decrease the margin of risk.”
Martino mentioned that if it weren’t a cup final, Inter Miami wouldn’t risk further injury with Messi.
Lionel Messi has revolutionized Inter Miami's squad since joining the club in July. Miami has yet to lose a game in which Messi has played and road the superstar's coattails to a Leagues Cup title in August.