Lionel Messi gives injury update before Inter Miami vs. Vissel Kobe | MLSSoccer.com (2024)

Matchday

Lionel Messi gives injury update before Inter Miami vs. Vissel Kobe | MLSSoccer.com (1)

Jonathan Sigal

Wherever Lionel Messi goes, legions of fans follow.

That was especially the case last weekend, when the Argentine megastar didn’t play in Inter Miami CF’s 4-1 victory over the Hong Kong Team due to adductor inflammation.

As disappointed as that left the sold-out crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, Messi felt it was a necessary decision.

"Unfortunately, it is something that happens in football. In any game, it can happen that we get injured," Messi explained before Inter Miami visit reigning J1 League champions Vissel Kobe on Wednesday (5 am ET).

"It happened to me and I couldn’t be in the game in Hong Kong. It’s a shame because I always want to participate, I want to be there, and even more so when it comes to these types of games where we traveled so far and people were so excited to watch us play.

"I hope we can return and we can play another game in Hong Kong and I can be present as I do whenever I can. But the truth is that it is a shame that I was not able to participate."

How to watch Inter Miami CF in 2024

Checking in from Hong Kong 👋 pic.twitter.com/T1xOwWfFIi

— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) February 3, 2024

Messi said his adductor discomfort arose in Inter Miami’s first match at the Riyadh Season Cup, a 4-3 defeat to Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Hilal. He left that match during the second half, then featured as a late substitute against Al Nassr a few days later. An open training session in Hong Kong followed, and decisions were made in consultation with the club’s medical staff.

"In the second [Saudi] game, I played the minutes I played to test myself, to see what sensations I had and how I felt because I had an MRI done and the results showed that I had swelling in the adductor, but there was no injury. That’s why I tried," Messi said.

"Then we went to Hong Kong and we were in the open training and I was present because of the number of people there and because there was also a clinic with kids and I wanted to be present and participate. But the truth is that the discomfort was still there and it made it very difficult for me to play."

Now, building towards the last overseas leg of Inter Miami’s global preseason tour, the iconic No. 10 is unsure what role he’ll play at the Japan National Stadium.

"I have very good sensations in comparison to the past days and depending on how it goes [at training] I will see if I play," Messi said. "If I’m honest, I still don’t know if I will be able to or not, but I feel much better and I really want to be able to play."

Touched down in Tokyo 📌 pic.twitter.com/AZyV4njF9t

— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) February 5, 2024

After Inter Miami face Vissel Kobe, one final preseason test awaits Feb. 15 back home at DRV PNK Stadium against Newell’s Old Boys (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). The Argentine top-flight side, of course, was Messi’s boyhood club before his legendary career unfolded at FC Barcelona.

But the GOAT’s primary focus seemingly centers around when the games count for real, starting with a Feb. 21 kickoff vs. Real Salt Lake at DRV PNK Stadium (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). Joined by ex-Barça teammates Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, excitement builds over what the defending Leagues Cup champions can accomplish in 2024.

"For us, the important thing is the match on Feb. 21, which is when the league season starts, where we’ll be playing for points," Messi said.

"We have been on a tour with many matches in a row, many trips, many time zone changes and we will try to prepare ourselves in the best way to face this match, to continue growing, and as I said before, regardless of the result, to continue getting positive things for what is coming our way."

Jonathan Sigal -

@JonathanSigal

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