Lionel Messi looks set to return to Inter Miami’s lineup on Saturday night when the Herons host D.C. United in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Messi missed Thursday’s goalless draw at Orlando City with a knee issue, marking the fifth league match he has failed to appear in for Eastern Conference-leading Miami (8-2-4, 28 points).

The Herons have only one win and two draws in those five matches. In the nine matches he’s played, they’re unbeaten with seven victories.

Miami currently leads the Eastern standings in the MLS with eight wins from thirteen games, tallying 28 points so far, one ahead of second placed FC Cincinnati, which has a game in hand.

ALSO READ | Inter Miami vs DC United Live Streaming info: Preview, predicted 11, when and where to watch MLS match in India?

But Wednesday’s absence always appeared to be more about load management. And after coach Tata Martino said he was hopeful the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner would return Saturday, Messi did not appear on the league’s player availability report on Friday night.

“We trained well yesterday, and we hope to train well today,” Martino said Friday, via an interpretation from Spanish by USA Today. “We will define it after training, but we are optimistic about (Saturday’s) match.”

Messi has 10 goals and an MLS-leading 12 assists entering Saturday’s encounter, while his former FC Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez is one of three MLS players tied for the league lead with 11 goals.

– With inputs from Reuters


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here