After being doubts for Inter Miami's match against Toronto FC, Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba exited Wednesday's match with Toronto FC in the first half with fatigue, while the Argentine also deals with an injury "scar," according to his manager Tata Martino.
After Martino spoke of needing to rest his stars who missed the Herons' last match against Atlanta United due to fatigue, it's a change that felt like a planned one to get them minutes while also saving them for the U.S. Open Cup final in seven days against the Houston Dynamo. Neither appeared to be injured when coming off the pitch as both took a seat on the bench after greeting Martino, who said the subs were not planned.
Martino confirmed that the withdrawal was due to fatigue but also ruled them out of Sunday's match against Orlando City SC. With it being fatigue-related, that's why it wasn't serious enough for either player to undergo additional treatment or be sent to the locker room. Martino didn't rule them out of the Open Cup final but he did cast doubt over if they may feature.
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"They trained normally and we felt like they were ready to play. I don't believe it's anything new or anything worse than what they have. It's fatigue. I don't think it's a muscular injury," Martino said after the game.
"I know we have a final to play but they won't go near the pitch if they can't play."
In regards to Messi, Martino said that Messi was dealing with a "scar" of an old injury, though it is a bit unclear as to what he meant, potentially being that he is just feeling a little sore or that he re-aggravated his light muscle knock earlier this month. His subbing off does feel like a precaution and a chance to rest his superstar before the biggest match in club history up until now.