To the disappointment of the fans, Lionel Messi is not going to play for Inter Miami against New York City FC. His participation was in doubt due to recent physical ailments, but coach Gerardo Martino has decided to keep him sidelined for the matchup.

Messi’s last appearance was against Toronto FC on September 20, where he was substituted off in the 37th minute. The player returned to training after missing the last two games, including the U.S. Open Cup final loss to the Houston Dynamo.

Martino had previously attributed the absence of Messi to fatigue. The coach emphasized that it would have been too risky for him to play against Houston. Despite the expectation around his presence on the field, it wasn’t an unforeseen development.

Is Lionel Messi going to return before the season ends?

The question on everyone’s mind is whether Messi will return before the season concludes. Since he joined the team, Inter Miami have closed the gap within the postseason in the Eastern Conference.

This competition could provide motivation for Messi to return. Martino‘s recent statement further adds to the anticipation of his comeback saying his star player “will surely play again before the end of the season”.

Messi has played in the busiest schedule he has had in a long time. As reported by The Athletic, he has totaled a remarkable 600 minutes in August, surpassing his minutes played in any calendar month since leaving Barcelona in 2019.

When is Inter Miami’s next game?

Inter Miami are going play against Chicago Fire on October 4.