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Messi still injured. Teams ask to postpone Inter Miami vs. NY Red Bulls. Game will go on

Messi still injured. Teams ask to postpone Inter Miami vs. NY Red Bulls. Game will go on

Inter Miami’s Argentine forward #10 Lionel Messi looks on during the MLS football match between Orlando City and Inter Miami FC at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 2, 2024.

Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has been recovering from a right hamstring injury with light practices this week, but is still not ready to return to action.

Messi has been ruled out of Saturday’s road match against the New York Red Bulls, where at least eight other Inter Miami players won’t be available due to injury or national team commitments.

“He’s getting better every day,” Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said Friday of Messi, the 2022 World Cup champion with Argentina.

Messi joined his Inter Miami teammates on the practice fields Friday to stretch with a trainer during a portion of practice open to media. Messi has been practicing for the last four days, Martino said.

When asked if Messi would be ready for Inter Miami’s quarterfinal matchup against LIGA MX club Monterrey in the Concacaf Champions Cup, the first of two matches beginning April 3, Martino said it’s still too early to tell.

“We have to wait until next week to see if he’s available by then,” Martino added.

Messi did not join Argentina for two matches this week: Argentina plays El Salvador on Friday night in Philadelphia, and Costa Rica in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

How to watch Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls live stream?

Inter Miami and the New York Red Bulls kickoff Saturday at 2 p.m. ET inside Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The match is available via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

WATCH: Inter Miami vs. NY Red Bulls on Apple TV

TICKETS: See Inter Miami in person at NY Red Bulls

SHOP: Get the latest Messi and Inter Miami gear from the MLS Store

When did Messi injure his hamstring?

Messi left with an injured hamstring in the 50th minute of Inter Miami’s Champions Cup round-of-16 win over Nashville SC on March 13. He also favored his hamstring during a March 7 match against Nashville.

Messi’s hamstring injury is different from the groin injury that kept him out of an Inter Miami preseason match in Hong Kong in February.

Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls was nearly canceled

Martino said the New York Red Bulls reached out to Inter Miami about canceling Saturday’s match with both teams missing players due to the FIFA international window, and Inter Miami agreed. But they were ultimately trumped by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Although many leagues around the world pause play for national team matches inside the FIFA international window, Major League Soccer does not.

“We received a request from (the) Red Bulls to postpone this match and we agreed, but the federation didn’t approve. It’s something that will have to be considered, the league will have to continue assessing (playing during FIFA windows),” Martino said.

Inter Miami will be without standout goalkeeper Drake Callender (United States); midfielders Diego Gómez (Paraguay), Federico Redondo (Argentina Under-23), David Ruiz (Honduras); forward Shanyder Borgelin (Haiti); and defender Israel Boatwright (Dominican Republic Under-23)

Inter Miami’s Nico Freire (hamstring) is not expected to play, while Leo Campana (adductor strain) returned to practice Friday.

New York Red Bulls will be without goalkeeper Carlos Coronel (Paraguay), forward Cory Burke (Jamaica), midfielders Emil Forsberg (Sweden) and Daniel Edelman (USA Under-23), and defenders John Tolkin (USA Under-23) and Noah Eile (Sweden Under-21).

What is Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule?

•Saturday: Inter Miami at New York Red Bulls, 2 p.m.

•March 30: Inter Miami vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

•April 3: Inter Miami vs. Monterrey in Champions Cup, 8 p.m.

•April 6: Inter Miami vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.

•April 10: Inter Miami at Monterrey, 10:30 p.m.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inter Miami vs. New York Red Bulls: How to stream, Messi injury update


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