Inter Miami boss Tata Martino says that there is still hope that Lionel Messi could feature in the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo.
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi's status heading into the match is to be determined, as the Inter Miami star continues to recover from an injury suffered during the international break. He returned to the field against Toronto FC on September 20, having missed the club's prior game against Atlanta United, but was taken out early after aggravating his injury.
Messi then missed Miami's 1-1 draw with Orlando City and has not trained in the lead up to the final, but Martino says the Argentine may still feature.
WHAT THEY SAID: «We will wait until tomorrow,» Martino said. «Jordi is difficult but with Messi we will wait until tomorrow.»
Martino added: «We understand the explanation and the desire to know, but we don't have an issue of wanting to be mysterious or anything like that. If it wasn't Messi, the media wouldn't be asking about him! Nothing has to do with an operation, so no, forget about that. We have to think about how long the player has to stop to play another match.
»If it's not a final, we're not taking any risks. This is a final and it could bring you a title. It could take 90 or 120 minutes, but if it's another game we wouldn't risk it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has already led Inter Miami to one trophy since arriving this summer, lifting the Herons during a heroic Leagues Cup run. The club will be looking to win its second piece of silverware in Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup final, although the hope of a potential treble looks difficult considering the club's current standing in MLS.
With just five games remaining, there are five teams between Inter Miami and a playoff spot as well as aRead on goal.com