Inter Miami Could Risk Injured Messi In Cup Final

Inter Miami could “take a risk” on forward Lionel Messi in Wednesday’s US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, says manager Gerardo Martino.

Messi was forced off after 37 minutes against Toronto FC with an injury and sat out Monday’s draw at Orlando City.

“We will decide tomorrow based on how he’s feeling,” Martino said.

Martino said Messi had triggered an old injury but suggested he could come back in for the final, although defender Jordi Alba is a doubt.

Messi, 36, signed for the MLS franchise in July after his contract with Paris St-Germain expired.

Of his availability, Martino added: “Here, there are questions. The player, the [US Open Cup] final, and what comes after. These three scenarios have to be evaluated; it is not just about the next game. Risk is always there, but we try to decrease the margin of risk.

“If it wasn’t a final, we wouldn’t take any risk, but because it is a final, there is a chance we take that risk.”

The Argentina international has already helped Inter Miami to win the Leagues Cup, beating Nashville SC on penalties in the final.

Inter Miami have not lost any of the 12 matches in which Messi has featured, while he has scored 11 goals and provided five assists.

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