Tata Martino provides update on Lionel Messi's fitness ahead of Monterrey clash

  • Messi has missed Miami's last three Major League Soccer contests
  • The 36-year-old sustained the hamstring injury on March 13 vs Nashville SC
  • The Herons have managed just one win without Messi in the side

Lionel Messi has been sidelined with a hamstring injury
Lionel Messi has been sidelined with a hamstring injury / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

Inter Miami head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has revealed that the club haven't made a decision on whether Lionel Messi will feature against Monterrey in the first leg of the Champions Cup quarterfinal tie.

The 2022 World Cup winner was seen in training on Tuesday, bringing some hope to the Miami supporters ahead of Wednesday night's contest. Speaking to the media, Martino failed to rule out Messi but also didn't confirm that the 36-year-old would for sure take part against Rayados.

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow, we'll figure it out," Martino said on Tuesday. "He trained today. We still have 24 hours. The first thing is Leo has been injured, and to manage that injury. We know we're going to have a very important game [against Monterrey]."

The former Atlanta United boss pointed out the the season just began a little over a month ago and that he doesn't want to run his players into the ground with many more games to play -- especially his team's best player in Messi.

"We just began April. This is just the beginning for us, and we can't risk the physical condition of our players. We're going to decide what’s best for Leo, and we're going to make the appropriate decisions," said Martino.

The Barcelona legend has been out of action since picking up the hamstring injury against Nashville SC in the Champions Cup round of 16. Messi was substituted off in the 50th minute and has missed Miami's last three games against DC United, New York Red Bulls and NYCFC, during which time the Herons have picked up just one win.

Messi has recorded three goals and one assist in 270 minutes of MLS action (three starts) while also grabbing two goals and one assist in Champions Cup play.

The Herons will hope to have Messi back in the side Wednesday night when they play host to Liga MX giants Monterrey at Chase Stadium.