Inter Miami coach Tata Martino could not confirm when Lionel Messi will return to the team after his scar tissue problem saw him miss the US Open Cup final defeat to Houston Dynamo.
Messi watched from the stands at the DRV PNK Stadium as Miami were defeated 2-1 by Houston Dynamo after failing even to reach the substitute bench for the match.
After the loss, Martino could only assure fans that Messi, 36, will return before the Major League Soccer season is over. Due to his absence Wednesday, he has missed four of his last five games.
“It was not wise of him to play, not even to consider him for a few minutes,” Martino said after the final.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time and see where the medical department can give us clearance.”
Lionel Messi watched from the stands as Inter Miami lost the US Open Cup final
Tata Martino told reporters he had to be careful with Messi but he hopes to have him back soon
Martino said his team felt fatigue in recent weeks after playing so many games.
“I saw a worn-out team, the result of so many games,” he said. ‘If this match were to go into extra time, the match Inter Miami played on Saturday would have to be decided by the coaching staff.
‘At a certain point we started to see the consequences of so many matches. We started to feel them on the injury side and on the performance side.”
Miami will play New York City FC on Saturday evening, the team that currently occupies the ninth and final spot for the post-season play-offs.
A win for Martino and his team is imperative if they want to reach the postseason.