Lionel Messi missed a fourth-straight game for Inter Miami, as they lost 4-1 at Chicago Fire with their slim playoff hopes taking another hit, but he could return soon.
Messi could be play some part in Inter Miami’s home game against Eastern Conference leaders FC Cincinnati on Saturday, according to his manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino. He has also been called up by Argentina for their World Cup qualifiers and is expected to travel to South America later this week.
Inter Miami are five points back of a playoff spot with a match-in-hand on ninth-place Montreal. Miami have three games remaining, with the game against Cincinnati this weekend followed by back-to-back games against Charlotte FC to finish the season. It is likely they will need to win all three of their remaining games to have a chance of finishing in the playoffs.
The superstar missed Argentina’s 3-0 win in Bolivia over the September international break due to an unspecified injury and he has only featured for 37 minutes for Miami since returning and was forced off in the first half of their win against Toronto on Sept. 20. He hasn’t featured since.
Latest update on Lionel Messi injury arrives
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino was asked about Messi after Inter Miami’s defeat at Chicago and revealed that he could play some part against Cincy.
Tata Martino told reporters last night that Inter Miami’s playoff chances have begun to “vanish” as the team’s form continues to drop.— Felipe Cárdenas (@FelipeCar) October 5, 2023
Messi is progressing from his injury and could see time vs FC Cincinnati on Saturday before joining Argentina for WCQ.
When will Lionel Messi be fit to play again?
Miami’s faint playoff hopes are running out and if they make it to the post-season, they need Messi fully fit.
Tata will not risk Messi, but there’s surely a chance that if they need a goal late on against Cincinnati, he will give him some minutes off the bench this weekend.
But they have to make sure they’re sensible with how they handle Messi’s small issue and hats off to Martino who is tackling the problem head on when many others would probably buckle under the pressure to just keep on playing Messi.