Lionel Messi ruled OUT! Argentine to miss Orlando City clash in huge blow to Inter Miami's MLS play-off hopes - and he now faces race against time to make U.S. Open Cup final

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  • Messi suffered injury against Toronto FC
  • Ruled out against Orlando City
  • Doubtful for U.S. Open Cup final

WHAT HAPPENED? The forward picked up a knock while awayon World Cup qualifying duty with Argentina. However, after missing the team's 5-2 loss at Atlanta last Saturday, he returned to domestic action on Wednesday against Toronto but lasted just 37 minutes before he was replaced. His former Barcelona teammate, Jordi Alba was also substituted early and the two players were under observation of the Miami medical staff ahead of the derby date with neighbors Orlando City.

Both players missed Miami's training session on Friday while it has been reported that manager Tata Martino reiterated that the Argentine will remain unavailable on Sunday.

WHAT THEY SAID: Messi is reportedly dealing with a "scar" injury that Martino said to refer to the medical team on, but mentioned the following: “It’s bothersome. 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 (Messi) to the point, including mentally, that he isn’t able to play freely.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has scored 11 goals in just 12 appearances for Miami as he propelled them to Leagues Cup glory earlier this summer and secured them a berth in the U.S. Open Cup final. But it remains to be seen if he can be fit again before Wednesday's shot at silverware against Houston.


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WHAT NEXT? Martino had earlier insisted that the pair would not be involved in the final if they were not match fit. Hence, the next few days will be crucial to determine their availability on September 27.