MIAMI.- The Argentine Gerardo Martino, coach of Inter Miami, assured this Wednesday that he does not believe that “there are muscle injuries” for Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba and that after speaking with both players he has “less pessimism” regarding when he had to deal with them. substitute in the game won 4-0 against Toronto.
Messi and Alba withdrew in the first half of the duel at the DRV PNK Stadium due to discomfort and Martino acknowledged that he is not considering having them on Sunday for the league visit to Orlando, but is already thinking about the US Open Cup final on Wednesday 27 September against the Houston Dynamo.
“They were not yet ready for the game with Atlanta, we did training where they showed themselves well, they understood that they were fit to play. From what I talked about the discomfort, I don’t think there is anything new, nothing bigger than what they had been having” Martino said at a press conference.
“It’s fatigue, I don’t think there is a muscle injury and we are going day by day,” he continued.
Messi’s injury was the central focus of the press conference and Martino spoke honestly about the situation.
“Obviously there is no instance that they will be there on Sunday and what I am talking about is based on next week,” he said.
He also highlighted that there was no pressure from him or his coaching staff for Messi and Alba to play against Toronto and recalled that they are expert players who know how to manage themselves.
“I am cautious about what may happen, after talking to them I don’t have the same pessimism that I had when I had to remove him,” he said.
“I think he stopped in time, because just before (the injury) he had made a sign to me that I thought was for him and it was for Jordi. We are going to go day by day. I know we have a final but there is no way they will enter the the field if they are not in a position to do so,” he added.
Finally, he opined that in Messi’s case it is an annoyance that the player has been living with for some time.
“It’s a scar from an old injury that bothers him. In the images from when he came from the national team he didn’t have an injury. I think there is no muscle injury, but I’m saying that from a conversation with him. We have to determine in the next few years days how to continue,” he said.
Inter Miami beat Toronto, bottom of the East, 4-0, with a double from the Finn Robert Taylor and goals from Benjamín Cremaschi and the Argentine Facundo Farías to keep alive their goal of reaching ninth place and accessing the postseason.