Lionel Messi Exits With Apparent Injury During Inter Miami Match
Lionel Messi exits with apparent injuryduring Inter Miami match against Toronto FC. The duration of Lionel Messi's reappearance on the field was brief, as the renowned Argentine player was substituted in the 37th minute of Inter Miami's encounter with Toronto FCon Wednesday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Shortly after his colleague Jordi Alba was substituted due to an apparent injury, Lionel Messi seemed to be encountering physical difficulty. Subsequently, he removed his captain's armband and transferred it to Deandre Yedlin prior to his own departure from the contest.
Lionel Messi had just repositioned himself on the bench, reclining on the chair with evident signs of anger. Subsequently, he proceeded towards the locker room while there were eight minutes of stoppage time left in the initial half.
According to Miami coach Gerardo Martino, a thorough assessment will be conducted on Alba and Messi in the upcoming days. However, both playerswill not be able to participate in the match against Orlando City on Sunday, as the objective is to ensure their readiness for the U.S. Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo scheduled for the following Wednesday.
There is no chance they will be there on Sunday. I know we have a final to play [next Wednesday] but they won't go near the pitch if they can't play- Gerardo Martino
Both Messi and Alba, who were included in the starting lineup for the match following their absence in the previous game's defeat against Atlanta United FC, did not encounter any notably forceful confrontations or display any visible signs of limping. However, they evidently experienced a certain degree of physical unease.
The Miami coach said through an interpreter:
They trained normally and we felt like they were ready to play. I don't believe it's anything new or anything worse than what they had before. It's fatigue. We don't think it's a muscular injury. That's also from a conversation that I just had with [Messi]. But we have to continue being careful and we'll look at him the next few days. I'm cautious about what can happen and after talking to them, I'm less pessimistic than I was when I had to bring them off.- Gerardo Martino
After the incident, both players headed to the bench instead of the locker room, and shortly thereafter, Facundo Faras scored for Miami, giving the home team a 1-0 advantage that would hold up until halftime. After halftime, Robert Taylor scored twice to seal the victory, sandwiching a goal by Benjamin Cremaschi.
Messi started off strong and had a great opportunity in the 23rd minute, but he blasted his far-post volley far over the crossbar. But after 15 minutes, it was obvious that the Argentine was struggling because of a physical ailment, so he was taken off and replaced by Taylor.
Only four minutes separated Alba's departure from Messi's. Another former Barcelonayouth player, Victor Vasquez, was forced out in the 12th minute, prompting Toronto to make two substitutes before the Miami duo departed the game. Just 14 minutes into the game, his substitute, Brandon Servania, had to be assisted off the field with a knee injury.
Messi seemed to be fighting with a leg problem for a few minutes before being taken off. He pulled off his captain's armband and started extending his right leg in the middle of the game before waiting for the action to end before leaving the field without first removing his cleats, socks, or shin guards.
Messi had not played in either of Argentina's two most recent matches, losing to Atlanta on September 16 after missing Argentina's World Cup qualifying triumph against Bolivia on September 12. The two incidents were attributed to fatigue, and Messi was unavailable for comment.
The encounter on Wednesday was the first of six in a space of 17 days for Inter Miami. Miami has three more MLS matches in quick succession after their meetings against Orlando on Sunday and Houston in the Open Cup on September 27: at New York City FC on September 30, at Chicago Fire FC on October 4, and at FC Cincinnati on October 7.
The defeat means that Miami is now five points behind D.C. United, who tied Cincinnati 1-1 on Wednesday, despite having two games in hand.
As of Wednesday, Messi has played in 11 games for Miami, the vast majority of which were in cup competition (the Leagues Cup and the U.S. Open Cup). In his first 11 games, he scored 11 goals and sent out 5 assists, including 1 goal and 2 assists in 3 Major League Soccergames.