Argentine forced off with ‘old injury’ for Inter Miami
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Lionel Messi was forced off after 37 minutes on his return to action for Inter Miami – but his team-mates sealed a 4-0 win over Toronto FC.

Injuries could prevent the Argentine from playing in next week’s US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, which Miami lost 5-2 to Atlanta on Saturday.

It is believed the 36-year-old has been injured for a long time, according to Gerardo Martino, the manager.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was not used last week by Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni.

Both Messi and Alba, Messi’s former Barcelona teammate, suffered injuries against Toronto, and Martino said both players will miss Sunday’s game against Orlando City.

“There is no chance they will be there on Sunday,” Martino said.

“I know we have a final on Wednesday, but they won’t go near the pitch if they can’t play.”

As of July, Miami have not lost any of the 11 matches Messi has played since leaving Paris St-Germain at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Messi left the field with a score of 0-0 against Toronto, but his replacement, Robert Taylor, scored twice and Facundo Farias and Benjamin Cremaschi also found the net.

“We still saved him for safety,” Martino said after the scans [Messi] had with the national team did not show any injuries.

From a conversation I just had with him, we do not think he has a muscular injury.

“But we must continue to be vigilant. We will review it in the coming days.”

Messi was not featured for Argentina last week because the World Cup winner “did not feel comfortable” and was not ready to play.