Lionel Messi is to miss Inter Miami’s Wednesday fixture against Charlotte at DRV PNK Stadium, after featuring and scoring twice for Argentina in their 2-0 victory against Peru on Tuesday.
According to a Dailymail reports, Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino disclosed that Messi is unlikely to participate in any of MLS matches for the rest of the 2023 season.
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.
The final game of Miami’s season is scheduled against the same opponent in North Carolina this Saturday.
“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,” Martino said.
Even though they faced disappointment in missing the playoffs, Miami’s overall season has been quite promising since Messi joined the team.
In just a few months, they transformed from being at the bottom of the MLS standings to contenders for the playoffs, reaching the finals of the US Open Cup and winning the Leagues Cup.
With the presence of the former 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.
The reports said further that 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.
“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,” Martino said.
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 Houston Dynamo.