Lionel Messi could make his return to Major League Soccer action on Saturday, seeking to improve Inter Miami’s fading playoff prospects.
Lionel Messi could make his return to Major League Soccer action on Saturday, seeking to improve Inter Miami’s fading playoff prospects. Messi has played just 37 minutes for his club since September 3, after returning from international duty with Argentina last month with an injury. His absence has been felt acutely, with Miami going winless in their last three league games and falling to Houston in the US Open Cup final. Miami lost 4-1 to Chicago on Wednesday without the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, but he was nominated to Argentina’s roster for the forthcoming South American World Cup qualifiers the next day.
This fueled rumors that he could face Eastern Conference leaders Cincinnati on Saturday, and the excitement grew as he trained on Thursday and Friday.
However, in keeping with the club’s attitude throughout the injury controversy, assistant coach Javier Morales gave no indication as to whether Messi will start.
“More of the same.” We must assess him on a daily basis. He trained yesterday, he will train today, and we will undoubtedly make a decision. “But he’s getting better every day,” he told reporters.
If Miami wants to achieve the now-unlikely goal of extending their season into the playoffs, Messi will undoubtedly be required to play.