(Miami) Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said Saturday that Lionel Messi was suffering from “muscle fatigue” and that his return will not be rushed, after his team’s first defeat since the arrival of the “Pulga”.
Messi and his former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba watched Miami’s 5-2 defeat to Atlanta United from the sidelines, with Martino saying it would have been “very unwise” for the Argentine to play.
The former FC Barcelona and Argentina coach said he is focused on preparing his team for the US Open Cup final on September 27, when Miami hosts Houston, seeking its second trophy. the season.
“They will train tomorrow (Sunday) and we will see day by day. Nothing changes our vision of how he (Messi) will train. We are in no hurry,” stressed Tata Martino.
Miami will face Toronto, the only team lower than it in the Eastern Conference, at home in the North American Championship (MLS) on Wednesday.
“If he is well and he is confident, he will be able to play and if this is not the case, he will wait a few more days,” said the Argentine coach.
Miami’s loss to Atlanta marks the first in 12 games in all competitions since Messi and Spaniards Alba and Sergio Busquets joined the team in July.
This setback complicates the Florida club’s task of climbing into the top nine of the Eastern Conference, which would ensure qualification for the playoffs.
Messi, 36, did not play in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday, but watched the match from the sidelines.