Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino confirmed Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi will not feature against Orlando City on Sunday, after suffering setbacks to previous injuries during Wednesday’s match vs Toronto FC.
The two former FC Barcelona players kicked off the match at DRV PNK Stadium, but exited the pitch by the 35th minute with apparent issues. Jordi Alba first made his way to the bench, while Messi left for the locker room immediately after leaving the game.
The two summer signings also missed the match against Atlanta on September 16 due to suspected muscle fatigue.
“We have to go day by day … Obviously, there’s no chance they’ll be available Sunday. Neither Alba nor 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.” said Martino.
“Leo is dealing with an old scar tissue (issue) and Jordi has muscular fatigue. We will evaluate them day by day. It’s bothersome [for Messi]. I don’t know if it hurts, I can’t really explain as it’s more a medical topic. It‘s probable it bothers him to the point, including mentally, that he isn’t able to play freely.”
This will be the first string of matches without Alba and Messi since the two joined Inter Miami in July. The summer signings played an integral part in the team’s Leagues Cup success, featuring in all seven games from July 21 to August 19.
Following the inaugural tournament, the Herons immediately returned to action with two games a week until September 9.
Now, Inter Miami will hope to qualify for the Major League Soccer playoffs without the two key figures. The Herons sit in 13th place on the Eastern Conference table with 31 points in 28 games and a record of 9W-15L-4D.
Sign up now for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch all the action from the 2023 Major League Soccer season. Click here to subscribe!