Inter Miami encountered a significant hurdle as Lionel Messi was benched due to “muscle fatigue”, and Jordi Alba, being sidelined, contributed to a 5-2 defeat against Atlanta United.
Inter Miami coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino confirmed Messi’s injury during a press conference on Saturday.
Martino emphasized a cautious strategy, considering it unwise for Messi to join the game in Atlanta, insisting on retaining the star player’s health and steady recovery.
Upcoming Challenges and Messi’s Recovery
As the team pivots to future challenges, Martino accentuated the criticality of gearing up the squad for the impending US Open Cup final on September 27th. In this encounter, Miami, hosting Houston, is eyeing their second trophy this season. The attention now shifts to Messi’s gradual recovery, with an evaluation of his condition proceeding on a daily basis as training resumes on Sunday.
The coach maintained a composed disposition, stating that Messi’s comeback is contingent on his physical welfare and assurance, underscoring a non-hasty approach to the situation.
Despite the recent hiccup against Atlanta United, which marked the termination of Miami’s 12-game undefeated streak since including notable players in July, the spirits remain high. The recent loss has hampered their upward movement in the Eastern Conference standings, a pivotal spot for playoff qualification.
Nonetheless, Martino showcased optimism, noting that while the loss constituted a drawback, it wasn’t a conclusive detriment to their ambitions. The principal objective remains fixed on the US Open Cup, wherein the team eyes the championship with fervent anticipation.
Furthermore, in light of recent events, Messi’s absence from Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia was highlighted, underscoring the collaborative and careful management of his condition by both the club and the national team.