Lionel Messi scores, leaves win early in Inter Miami injury concern

Inter Miami is holding its breath with Lionel Messi a bit after defeating Nashville SC handily on Wednesday night to advance to the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals. 

While the club downed Nashville 3-1, they lost Messi five minutes into the second half after he came off the field in a shocking substitution so early in the match. 

Lionel Messi left Inter Miami’s game early Wednesday with a leg injury. Getty Images

Head coach Tata Martino told reporters after the game that Messi came out because of a mild right hamstring injury and he “most likely” will not be available for Saturday’s MLS regular season game against DC United. 

“He is overloaded in the right posterior,” Martino said through a translator, according to the Associated Press. “We don’t want to run a risk. We tried to see if he could go further along (in the game), but it was bothering him so we preferred to have him get out of the game.”

“We will have some imaging to be sure,” Martino added, according to the Inter Miami Podcast. 

Martino said Messi likely will be rested for Inter Miami’s MLS match against D.C. United on Saturday as further precaution.

Messi did score a goal and recorded an assist in the Inter Miami victory before coming out of the game in the 50th minute. 

The football superstar assisted on Luis Suárez’s goal in the eighth minute and then Messi made it a 2-0 game when he booted one in himself in the 23rd minute. 

Diego Gomez was able to feed the ball to Messi in the box and the Argentine was able to fire the ball into the top right corner of the net for the goal. 

But the situation changed when Messi subbed out for Robert Taylor. 

“We are conscious that when the season started, Messi was not going to play in all the games,” Martino said. “It’s not just replacing a player, it’s replacing the best player of all time. Nashville was being eliminated, we had to adapt the game for his absence.”

Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (left) celebrates after scoring a goal with forward Luis Suarez. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

There already had been some injury concern over Messi when he did not play in Sunday’s regular season game against Montreal and had been listed as questionable for that particular match after getting hit in the shin last week.

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