Inter Miami gears up for mid-week MLS action as they face Orlando City in just a matter of time. The Herons are away from home but didn’t leave the Sunshine State as they play the Florida derby at Inter and Co Stadium. However, the excitement for the clash has toned down for many because of the absence of Miami’s star player Lionel Messi, not just from the starting XI, but even from the bench.  

The reason Inter Miami decided to not feature Messi against Orlando City is because the 36-year-old is injured.

Concerning updates emerged in the past few hours regarding the FIFA World Cup winner’s condition. Unfortunately, the Argentine sustained a knee injury during Tata Martino and Co’s 2-3 victory against Montreal. The skipper was forced to seek treatment on the sidelines after being subjected to a harsh tackle. Even though he managed to complete the entire game without scoring, the post-match developments left many apprehensive.

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Earlier, Miami assistant coach Javi Morales revealed La Pulga had to apply ice to his knee following the game. Likewise, over the past few days, he has even been absent from the team’s training sessions to focus on recovery independently.

Unfortunately, he failed to recover on time, forcing Miami to travel to face its fellow neighbors without their biggest star. Certainly, David Beckham and Co.’s soccer franchise weren’t interested in risking their star player for further MLS games. 

USA Today via Reuters

Hence, tonight we will witness Inter Miami facing Orlando City without their magician. Notably, they have been maintaining their remarkable winning streak in the last 5 matches. Can they further extend their feat?

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Who will Inter Miami count on in the absence of Lionel Messi?

Luis Suarez is the obvious candidate to step up for Inter Miami after Lionel Messi. Having notched 11 goals and 5 assists in over 13 MLS matches, Suarez’s impressive stats demonstrate why the Fort Lauderdale side acquired him in the first place. While the Uruguayan’s best friend Messi missed the scoresheet, Suarez managed to be one of the scorers in the previous 2-3 victory. He was also joined by Matias Rojas and Benjamin Cremaschi, which brings us to the next prospects that Miami can count on.

USA Today via Reuters

Rojas, especially, impressed in the last match with his free kick and crucial assist to Cremaschi. The two are expected to contribute again tonight. In Messi’s absence, Robert Taylor gets his chance to prove himself as well. Furthermore, the defensive line shoulders the responsibility of denying the home side from scoring goals. Doing so would help Miami further extend its top spot in the table.

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Until then, we wish Messi a quick recovery and hope he returns to action in the next match.

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