Watch: Sad Lionel Messi exits in first half of Inter Miami match due to ‘old injury’.
Videos on social media also showed Inter Miami fans streaming out of the stadium even before half-time after Messi’s substitution.
Lionel Messi trudged off the pitch before half-time in Inter Miami’s clash against Toronto FC due to what team coach Gerardo Martino called an ‘old injury’. Martino also said that the Argentine legend could miss their US Open Cup final next Wednesday against Houston Dynamo. However, there was no official word on the nature of the injury.
With the scoreline reading 0-0 in the 37th minute, an injured Messi was subbed off with Robert Taylor taking his place. Before he walked off, with a sombre look on his face, he handed over the captain’s armband to DeAndre Yedlin.
The team also lost Jordi Alba early in the game due to injury. Despite the double blows, the team cruised to a 4-0 victory, with Facundo Farias and Benjamin Cremaschi scoring. Messi’s replacement Taylor, meanwhile, scored twice.
It must be noted that Messi had missed Miami’s 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Saturday due to fatigue and sat out Argentina’s match against Bolivia last week.
Videos on social media also showed fans streaming out of the stadium even before half-time after Messi’s substitution.
There is no chance they will be there on Sunday. I know we have a final to play but they won’t go near the pitch if they can’t play,” said Martino.
The coach added that Messi had been carrying an “old injury”.
“The scans he had with the national team, they didn’t show any injury. We still saved him to be safe,” he added.
“We don’t think he has a muscular injury. That’s also from a conversation I just had with him. But we have to continue being careful. And we’ll look at it the next few days.”
Miami have yet to lose with Messi on the field since signing him in July, a run that includes a triumph at last month’s Leagues Cup.