Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino has said that Lionel Messi is unlikely to participate in any more MLS matches for the rest of the 2023 season, Dailymail reports.
This decision comes as Inter Miami failed to qualify for the playoffs, and their season effectively concluded with a 1-0 home loss to Cincinnati earlier this month.
Despite making a recovery from an injury to be available for that particular game, Messi only spent 35 minutes on the field that night. His inaugural MLS season ended in disappointment, as he had missed the preceding four matches due to a muscle injury sustained during a 4-0 victory over Toronto, which included a loss in the US Open Cup final to the Houston Dynamo.
With two remaining regular-season MLS matches, Coach Martino of Miami has indicated that his team captain, Messi, is unlikely to participate to prevent any potential risks.
Messi will not be part of the Wednesday match against Charlotte at DRV PNK Stadium, especially after featuring and scoring twice for Argentina in their 2-0 victory against Peru on Tuesday. The final game of Miami’s season is scheduled against the same opponent in North Carolina this Saturday.
Martino said, ‘We will evaluate not only Leo, but all players who are with their national teams when they return Thursday, as we are out of the playoffs, and we don’t want to run any risks.’
With the presence of the Barcelona legend from the beginning of the next season, there is optimism within the franchise that they can climb even higher in the league standings. Coach Martino is committed to using the last two matches as a starting point for making improvements.
“We want to compete and it’s our obligation to finish the season the best we possibly can,’ he furthered.
“In some way, we want to improve the image of the team from the last three or four games.
“And, for the coaching staff, it is important because we are getting back players we haven’t had in a while, and we can use these games to evaluate and help make decisions for next season.”