Lionel Messi a doubt for the match against the Chicago Fire originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The game may or may not have playoff implications depending on the results for both teams over the weekend. However, what in all likelihood supersedes that is the possibility of getting to see Lionel Messi in action.
That being said, his availability for that match is in serious doubt.
Messi has been sidelined the past couple of games for Inter Miami as he is dealing with a leg injury. He didn’t feature in the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo – a final Miami lost – and was ruled out for their match against New York City FC.
He trained on Friday but his status remained unclear.
“Leo will train, he’s a day-to-day decision,” said Inter Miami assistant coach Javier Morales.
Inter Miami manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino was asked about Messi’s status following the loss to Houston on Wednesday.
“It was not prudent for him to play, not even to consider him for a few minutes because we would have run risks,” Martino said. “And yes, he will surely play before the end of the season.
When that is, is anyone’s guess.
“We will go match-by-match, defining the situation to see at what point the medical department tells us that he is fit to play without taking risks,” Martino said.
For the Fire, it would be a good thing if Messi doesn’t play as it increases their odds of winning the game. For the neutral, or a Messi fan, it will be a huge blow if the former Barcelona star doesn’t see any minutes.
Almost immediately after joining Inter Miami, tickets for every ticket for an Inter Miami game became a hot-ticket item, with prices skyrocketing. The Fire even announced a giveaway, giving away four sets of tickets to see him play on October 4.
Whether Messi plays or not is likely of little interest to the Fire. While sharing the field with arguably the greatest player of all time would have likely been a point of motivation, the focus for Chicago is on making the playoffs. To do so, they need to beat Inter Miami. A feat made easier if they can’t count on Lionel Messi.