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Lionel Messi: Tata Martino Provides Injury Update After Missing Third Game in a Row
- Lionel Messi has been battling muscle fatigue since Argentina's 1-0 win over Ecuador
- He missed the 3-0 win over Bolivia and has now missed three games in a row for Inter Miami
- Miami came back to secure one point against New York FC in his absence
Lionel Messi's presence on the pitch for Inter Miami in the past three weeks has declined drastically despite a gruesome schedule in his first weeks at the club.
Messi sat out the game against New York FC as Inter Miami battled for a 1-1 draw, equalising in the additional minutes to keep their playoff hopes alive, though hanging on a thread.
He missed the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, which Miami lost after failing to recover from muscle fatigue, which saw him limp off against Toronto FC.
Tata Martino claimed his minutes would be managed game-by-game, and he would only play if medically cleared to compete with four league games left.
Martino provides update on Messi
Tata Martino was quizzed about Messi's absence after the 1-1 draw against New York, and as quoted by Goal, he issued an update on the captain's fitness.
"It is what I said. We're going to see this game to game. We're going to evaluate him [ahead of Wednesday’s match] against Chicago. If he’s going to be on the bench, if he's going to be out of the bench, whether against Chicago or Cincinnati [next weekend]. We're going to see that," he said.
"He’s training on the field apart from the group, but he's feeling better and better … time will tell whether what I am saying is true or whether that person who made the report is right."
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He did not travel with the team to New York last night, meaning he has played only 37 minutes during the previous 23 days, with his only minute coming against Toronto, which he left injured after 37 minutes.
Messi's schedule in his first months at the club is telling on him after playing 12 games in 48 days when he first arrived, helping to win the inaugural Leagues Cup.
When will Messi play again?
Sports Brief reported that Martino provided an update on Messi's fitness condition after losing the cup final, which the captain missed due to muscle fatigue.
Miami have five league games left in the season as they aim for a playoff spot. Martino confirmed Messi will play an active part, but his minutes will be managed game-by-game.