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Lionel Messi substituted for Inter Miami: is Messi injured?

The Herons’ captain and teammate Jordi Alba were both taken off in the first half of the MLS game against Toronto FC.

Lionel Messi substituted amid fitness concerns

Inter Miami suffered two first half fitness concerns in the MLS fixture against Toronto FC, losing both Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba in the opening 40 minutes.

The former Barcelona duo had missed the Herons’ previous fixture against Atlanta United due to fitness concerns. Inter Miami’s incredible form in the cup competitions has meant that they have played a lot of matches in their first months in the league.

However both players trained with the team on Tuesday and were deemed fit enough to start against Toronto. Jordi Alba made it to the half hour mark before being withdrawn, Messi joined him on the sidelines just minutes later.

What is Lionel Messi’s injury?

At this stage it is not clear exactly what Messi’s issue is. The Miami captain had looked lively in the opening stages, going close to scoring on multiple occasions.

With around ten minutes of the first half remaining Messi played a long ball forward and appeared to wince after making the pass. Immediately, he began moving very gingerly. Within just a couple of minutes he had signalled to the Miami coaching staff that he was unable to continue and was immediately substituted.

He sat on the bench for around five minutes, looking very frustrated at his early departure, before retreating to the changing room. Jordi Alba was seen applying an ice pack to his calf while sitting on the bench, while Messi was not required to do so. However the fact that he retired to the dressing room without waiting to watch the remaining minutes of the first half does not bode well.