Lionel Messi had to retire after 37 minutes following his return to action for Inter Miami in the match against Toronto FC. The Argentine was substituted after spending a few minutes battling "muscle fatigue."
Despite Messi's departure, Inter Miami had a great victory, winning 4-0 to move within five points of the last place in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference playoffs. Coach Gerardo `Tata´ Martino revealed that Messi could not play due to muscle fatigue and maintained that he does not believe it was anything more serious.
"Solo son fatigas" 👀
Gerardo 'Tata' Martino sobre las molestias de Messi y Alba y su posibilidad de jugar el domingo antes de la final de la US Open Cup el próximo miércoles. 😬 pic.twitter.com/4XHzlD5LKu
— ESPN Deportes (@ESPNDeportes) September 21, 2023
"Injuries do not seem like something new"
Messi was the second important loss for Inter Miami since the player Jordi Alba had to leave in the 34th minute. Neither will play Sunday in Orlando.
"The discomfort doesn't seem like anything new or anything bigger than what they were having. They are fatigued. I don't think there is a muscle injury so you have to go day by day. Obviously there is no chance that they will be there on Sunday," explained Martino, who highlighted that the players will be evaluated by doctors.
The Inter Miami plays in Orlando on Sunday, will then host Houston in the US Open Cup final on September 27. That will be followed by three more Major League Soccer matches in short order: against New York City FC on Sept. 30, at Chicago on Oct. 3 and hosting Cincinnati on Oct. 7, according to the schedule published by AP.