Messi injury details disputed by Inter Miami coach Martino

Messi injury details disputed by Inter Miami coach Martino

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Messi injury details disputed by Inter Miami coach Martino
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How bad is Lionel Messi’s injury? It might just boil down to who you believe.

Messi was in street clothes for Inter Miami’s dramatic 1-1 draw with New York City FC, a match that saw the Herons equalize in stoppage time and nearly claim a priceless victory with an even later effort that smacked off the underside of the crossbar.

Despite the wild finish to a game that was delayed by storms around DRV PNK Stadium, Messi remained the major talking point after the match.

A report from the Inter Miami Podcast (which is not affiliated with the team) said that Messi had “sustained a 2 [centimeter] hamstring tear, confirmed via MRI, likely shutting him down for the remainder of the MLS season.”

After the match, head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino dismissed the report as incorrect.

“Time will tell whether what I am saying is true or whether that person who made the report is right,” Martino said in his post-match press conference. “It is what I said. We’re going to see this game to game.

“We’re going to evaluate him. If he’s going to be on the bench, if he’s going to be [unavailable], whether against Chicago or FC Cincinnati, we’re going to see that. He’s training on the field apart from the group, but he’s feeling better and better.”

Messi has been seen at Miami’s recent training sessions doing work to at least some extent, though just how much he’s capable of remains unclear. Martino had previously declared that Messi would return before the end of the MLS season.

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Miami still holds a glimmer of hope if Messi returns

With time running out on the regular season, the single point was not really what Messi’s side needed.

However, with the Eastern Conference playoff race being a sloppy, slippery mess, Miami actually finished the night one point closer to the top nine than it was when play started. Of the seven teams vying for the final two spots still available, only one (the Chicago Fire) won on Saturday, with three suffering defeat elsewhere.

The bad news? The Herons sit four points behind ninth-place CF Montréal (who are ahead of D.C. United and the Fire on the games-won tiebreaker). With just four games to go, there’s just no room for error.

The good? Miami has a game in hand on Montréal and Chicago, and two on D.C., meaning that it will only take a couple of slip-ups from teams that seem immune to going on any sort of positive streak for Miami to have an opening.

“We have been playing many games and they are all decisive games, not only mentally but physically,” said Martino. “What we did today was with dignity and despite all the problems, we are trying to win. When we started, we were in last place three months ago, and these guys were able to put us where we are today. We have great expectations.”

Miami has been battling late in a series of close games, even as the club’s schedule remains relentless. The club’s draw with NYCFC was its fifth match in two weeks, a figure that will climb by two within the next six days. The Herons face a trip to Chicago to take on the Fire on Wednesday, followed by a Saturday home clash with Cincinnati.



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Messi injury details disputed by Inter Miami coach Martino

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