Sad news: Lionel Messi will NOT start US Open Cup final after missing training due to ‘muscle discomfort’

According to rumors, Lionel Messi will not be starting for Inter Miami in the game for the US Open Cup final since he did not participate in training on Tuesday due to his ongoing fight with injuries.

After being taken out of action with muscle soreness eight minutes before halftime of last week’s MLS victory over Toronto FC, Lionel Messi faces a race against the clock to be healthy for the championship match on Wednesday.

Both he and Jordi Alba, who is also dealing with a muscle issue, were substituted off on the previous night before being left out of the lineup for the 1-1 draw on the road against Orlando City on Sunday.

Tata Martino, the manager of Miami, stated that the two players would be evaluated on a regular basis in the days leading up to the championship match. However, TyC Sports (via MLS Moves) is now stating that Messi will not be participating from the beginning of the match.

Messi and Alba were not seen out on the field with the rest of their teammates during Tuesday’s training session at the DRV PNK Stadium. The two former Barcelona stars did not take part in the session.

Lionel Messi will not start for Inter Miami in the US Open Cup final after missing training

Messi was instead spotted on the phone in normal attire at Inter’s DRV PNK Stadium base

He is a major injury doubt for Wednesday’s final after being replaced eight minutes before halftime in last week’s 4-0 MLS win over Toronto FC

As a result, Messi did not take part in Miami’s last training session on Tuesday ahead of the final

Messi was instead captured by ESPN cameras taking a phone call while dressed in normal attire as the squad carried out their final session.

It remains to be seen whether Martino decides bring him off the bench during the game or simply not use him at all.

Yet given his electric start to life in the States, which has seen him score 11 goals in 12 games, gambling on Messi’s fitness could be a risk worth taking.

Speaking prior to the draw in Orlando, Martino said: ‘Neither Alba nor he (Messi) are taken into account for Sunday. I haven’t spoken to Leo since the game, but it seems to me that his experience gives him the ability, even within a game, to know when to stop, when to say enough, when to take precautions.

‘And it seems very prudent to me that, at this point of his career, he exercises it more than ever because we want to see Leo on the fields much more time and I have to help him. 

‘It is good for me that he becomes aware that there are moments in which we have to stop.

Alba, who was also replaced against Toronto due to injury, was another absentee from training on Tuesday

Miami boss Tata Martino is sweating over both men’s fitness on the eve of the cup final

‘The annoying scar, I don’t know if it hurts, maybe it’s something much more medical.’

If fit in time, Messi will have the chance to land his second trophy with Miami just over two months after joining the club.

He first inspired their triumph in the Leagues Cup last month, getting on the scoresheet in their final victory over Nashville having also provided a vital equalizing assist in the semifinal.

Miami also has a faint chance of making a late dash to the MLS playoffs this season after three of their main rivals suffered defeat on Saturday. 

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