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After leaving the Toronto match early, Lionel Messi will miss one more Inter Miami game

Inter Miami’s starting lineup now includes Lionel Messi. He made a fleeting return, and now he’s out again. In the 37th minute of Inter Miami’s game versus Toronto, Messi was replaced after struggling for a few minutes with what seemed to be a leg problem. Miami performed well without him, winning 4-0 to close the gap on the last playoff berth in the Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference to just five points.

Messi was replaced by Robert Taylor, who scored twice and provided an assist. However, Messi’s health took precedence, and Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said during the match that the Argentine star would miss Sunday’s match against Orlando.
Martino noted, as translated from Spanish to English by a team official, “He had an old injury that had been bothering him.”

Messi will miss at least one more game, according to Martino in a previous response that was not translated. After missing Argentina’s World Cup qualification victory against Bolivia on September 12 and Inter Miami’s 5-2 defeat at Atlanta United last Saturday, the 36-year-old Messi has recently missed two matches — one for club, the other for nation.

Both incidents were attributed to fatigue, but the squad offered no explanation for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s current problems. When Messi was replaced, there had been no goals.

It was Inter Miami’s second significant setback due to an injury on Wednesday. A second lauded midseason signing, Jordi Alba, was forced to exit the game in the 34th, just before Messi’s night was ended. Sunday’s game won’t include Alba either.

Taylor remarked, “We have to step up.

The other goals came from substitute Benny Cremaschi in the second half and Facundo Farias.

Goalkeeper Drake Callender stated, “It demonstrates the depth that we have on our squad.

Messi had a few opportunities on Wednesday, but he looked to stop moving suddenly in the 33rd minute after taking the ball well into the Toronto box. He was hardly paying attention after that, bending forward briefly as though to stretch the backs of his legs, taking off his captain’s armband only to attempt to complete a long pass while still wearing it, then waited for play to end so he could go.

Without even waiting to leave the field, Messi took off his shin pads, down his socks, and unlaced his shoes. Before Messi joined Inter Miami in July, DeAndre Yedlin served as the team’s captain. He was given the captain’s band, and it is unclear when Messi will don it once again. He would probably be wanted to participate in the U.S. Open Cup final on September 27.

Messi was taken out of the game on Wednesday “for safety,” according to Martino, who was translated by the squad.

“We don’t believe there is a muscle damage. Even though Messi was stretching in a way that indicated differently before leaving the field, Martino added through the translator, “That’s also from a talk that I just had with him. But we still need to exercise caution; we’ll check on him throughout the next days.

The first of Inter Miami’s six games in a space of 17 days occurred on Wednesday. On Sunday, the club plays in Orlando, and on September 27, it hosts Houston in the US Open Cup final. Then, in quick succession, the team will play three more MLS games against New York City FC on September 30, Chicago on October 4, and Cincinnati at home on October 7.

If Messi is out, the already difficult stretch will be considerably more difficult. With two games remaining, Miami started Wednesday seven points behind D.C. United for the last Eastern playoff place. On Wednesday, D.C. United earned a point by tying Atlanta, while Inter Miami’s three points for their victory reduced the margin to five.

Regardless of where it stands in the rankings, Inter Miami now has control over its playoff fate. Win all of your MLS games, and a club that finished last in the conference before Messi joined it will advance to the playoffs.

Since Messi made his club debut on July 21 against Mexican team Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, Inter Miami had gone 12 games without a loss before the Atlanta matchup. Inter Miami had a record of 8-0-4 in those 12 games, with three of those games that ended in ties being victories for the team after winning on penalties. These games were two in the Leagues Cup, including the Miami club’s first-ever championship game against Nashville, and one in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals.

Messi has now participated in 12 games for Miami over the course of two months, the majority of which have been Leagues Cup and U.S. Open Cup matchups. In four MLS games, he had one goal and two assists in addition to his 11 goals and eight assists.

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