Will Lionel Messi Play Against Hong Kong XI? Latest Injury Update on Inter Miami Star

Published 02/03/2024, 10:53 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Lionel Messi‘s injury woes took center stage in the Inter Miami camp after their match against Al Hilal. The Herons skipper reportedly felt discomfort after the game, causing him to undergo an MRI. Subsequently, coach Gerardo Tata Martino benched him for the first 83 minutes of the Al Nassr game. Considering Messi’s significantly lesser playing time in the last game, his availability for their outing against Hong Kong XI came under jeopardy. Since the kickoff is hours away, let’s find out if Martino will start La Pulga amid his health concerns.

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Per David Beckham‘s recent Instagram post, Lionel Messi trained alongside his teammates ahead of the Hong Kong friendly. Therefore, it is highly likely that the local Asian fans will also see the 2022 World Champion in action.

Tata Martino shares Inter Miami’s ‘aspiration’ on Lionel Messi’s availability

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Speaking to the press after arriving in Hong Kong, Tata Martino quashed Lionel Messi’s injury woes. He guaranteed that the player would be available for the friendly. “We will evaluate each of the players because we have been playing a lot of preseason games. Our aspiration is that Leo can play as many minutes as possible, so we will determine how long he can play depending on what happens in tomorrow’s training session, but he will surely be on the field,” said Tata Martino, as per prior reports.

USA Today via Reuters

None of the Herons’ personnel including Martino has spoken of Messi’s availability and well-being after the training sessions. Hence, let’s assume that the coach has determined his playing time against Hong Kong. Since he expects the Argentine to contribute as much as possible, Hong Kong fans will probably see more of his action than the Al Nassr game. Anyhow, even if Messi were to start against Hong Kong, concerns about his physical well-being won’t go away. With no ample time to rest, Messi and Co. will lace up for the next pre-season outing.

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What next for Messi and Inter Miami?

After playing Hong Kong XI, the Inter Miami entourage will fly to Tokyo. They will face Japan’s Vissel Kobe in their sixth friendly match of this pre-season. Thereafter, Messi and teammates would return to the US for a nine-day break. The team will then fly to Argentina to play their last pre-season friendly. It will be an emotional reunion for Lionel Messi, as Inter Miami takes on his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys.

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Considering there is a brief resting period after the Vissel Kobe game, Lionel Messi could comfortably nurse his discomforts and keep the injury woes at bay. Putting an end to his injury concerns is paramount for Inter Miami. Gone will be the days with friendlies. After the Argentina adventure, the Herons will kick-start their MLS season on February 21, playing against Real Salt Lake.

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

716Articles

One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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