Lionel Messi ‘has an old scar issue’, reveals Inter Miami coach Tata Martino – who says the star, 36, will be checked on every day in race against time for next week’s US Open Cup final

  • Lionel Messi went off in the first half of Wednesday’s win 4-0 against Toronto 
  • He will miss the Orlando game this weekend and the US Open Cup final follows
  • Click here to watch the IAKO Battle of Old Trafford YouTube Special from the Mail Sport Studios 

Lionel Messi is struggling with ‘an old scar issue’, according to Inter Miami coach Tata Martino after the star went off injured in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Toronto.

Messi will miss Sunday’s Major League Soccer game against Florida rivals Orlando City and faces a race against time to return for next Wednesday’s US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo.

Speaking Friday, coach Martino said: ‘Leo has an old scar issue and we will keep evaluating, day-by-day.’

Defender Jordi Alba, who followed Messi to Miami after his Barcelona contract expired in the summer, is struggling with muscle fatigue, Martino added. Both players were absent from Friday’s training session. 

‘Neither Alba nor he (Messi) are taken into account for Sunday,’ the coach said. ‘I haven’t spoken to Leo since the game, but it seems to me that his experience gives him the ability, even within a game, to know when to stop, when to say enough, when to take precautions. 

Lionel Messi is struggling with ‘an old scar issue’, coach Tata Martino has explained 

Inter Miami coach Martino said Messi will be checked daily ahead of the US Open Cup final

Inter Miami coach Martino said Messi will be checked daily ahead of the US Open Cup final 

‘And it seems very prudent to me that, at this point of his career, he exercises it more than ever because we want to see Leo on the fields much more time and I have to help him. 

‘It is good for me that he becomes aware that there are moments in which we have to stop.

‘The annoying scar, I don’t know if it hurts, maybe it’s something much more medical.’ 

Miami heads into Sunday’s game without two star players knowing nothing less than a victory is good enough as the team fights to make the post-season playoffs.

The team is currently 13th out of 15 in the Eastern Conference standings and is five points behind Wayne Rooney’s DC United, the team occupying the ninth and final playoff position.

Orlando will be a tough opponent and is currently second in the Eastern Conference standings in MLS. 

With Messi, Miami beat Orlando 3-1 in the Leagues Cup in August but earlier in the season, before he joined, Miami lost 3-1 against City.

Source From: Football | Mail Online

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