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Messi leaves game with ‘muscle overload,’ could miss next MLS match

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Inter Miami star Lionel Messi is unlikely to play in Saturday’s road game against D.C. United due to a right hamstring strain, coach Tata Martino said after a 3-1 win over Nashville SC on Wednesday night.

Messi left Inter Miami’s Concacaf Champions Cup second leg match with what is translated from Spanish as “muscle overload.” Martino said Messi would undergo imaging to see the extent of the injury.

Messi attempted to play in the second half of the game against Nashville, but walked off as a surprise substitute five minutes into the half.

“We didn’t want to run a risk,” Martino said about Messi after he scored a goal and assisted another to help Inter Miami advance to the quarterfinal of the Champions Cup.

“We tried to see if he could go a little longer, but we preferred for him to get out of the game.”

Inter Miami has a training session scheduled Friday before traveling to Washington D.C. for Saturday’s 2 p.m. ET match against D.C. United.

Following the match, Messi is expected to join the Argentina national team for two friendlies that will serve as warmups for this summer’s Copa America.

Argentina will play against El Salvador in Philadelphia on March 22, and Costa Rica in Los Angeles on March 26.

Messi could miss two Inter Miami games: Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls on March 23, and Inter Miami vs. New York City FC on March 30 for rest purposes.

“I don’t want to risk it, but I would imagine for Saturday’s match he will not be available,” Martino said. “Looking ahead, we’ll evaluate. He’ll get some imaging done. And we’ll see how it develops.”

Inter Miami beat Nashville SC 5-3 on aggregate in their Champions Cup Round-of-16 matchup. The club is also tied with four other teams atop the MLS Eastern Conference with seven points after a 2-1-1 (win-draw-loss) start to the season.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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