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After being out of commission since March 13, Lionel Messi made his return for Inter Miami in a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. It only took 13 minutes of being on the pitch for the Argentine to make his presence felt, floating into a pocket of space to latch onto a ball from Franco Negri for an equalizing goal. Only a minute later, Leo Alfonso would score his first goal for Inter Miami in what seemed to be the game-winner before the Rapids hit back as Cole Bassett leveled the match in the 88th minute before the eventual draw.

Here's Messi's fine goal:

With an away trip to Monterrey on the horizon for the Herons in the Concacaf Champions Cup on Wednesday, this was a match that showcased both why they should have hope and be concerned for an away trip to face the Mexican side after losing the first leg 2-1. There could be another injury boost on the way as Benjamin Cremaschi made the bench following surgery for a hernia during the offseason but he was an unused substitute during the clash. Leonardo Campana also left in the 42nd minute with an injury as Tata Martino can't catch a break with the health of his team.

Messi returned from a hamstring injury, creating two chances and taking five shots in only one half of play. No matter what happens, he's the talisman of this Miami attack and they seem like a side that can score at will when he's on the pitch. The issue is that with Federico Redondo, Robert Taylor, Serhiy Kryvtsov and now Campana injured, not only do they lack depth, but also work rate to give the defense less to do. 

On Wednesday, the Herons will need to score early and avoid conceding as allowing the Mexican side to assert their dominance could spell doom in their most important competition of the season. With a spot in the Club World Cup on the line, Miami will need their stars to shine at their brightest in adverse conditions especially after Messi may have played more minutes than expected on Saturday. Losing 1-0 at half after conceding a penalty, Martino had to make changes, and chief among them was bringing Messi onto the pitch due to Campana's injury. While he made an impact, since these recent leg injuries were due to his workload being too high, it may have been preferred for him to play fewer minutes against the Rapids. But when the choice is to lose a match or utilize Messi, there isn't a choice if you're managing the squad.

If all goes well, this will have been just enough of a run out to knock some rust off before Messi powers the Herons to victory in Mexico, but ahead of one of the most important matches in their history, this could foreshadow the defense not being able to contain an excellent Monterrey attack.

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