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Lionel Messi to miss Argentina friendlies vs. El Salvador, Costa Rica with hamstring injury

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Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s friendly matches against El Salvador and Costa Rice due to a hamstring injury. The 36 year old has not featured since being withdrawn in the 51st minute of Inter Miami’s CONCACAF Champions Cup win over Nashville on Thursday, subsequently missing his side’s trip to D.C. United on Sunday.

The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) have now confirmed that Messi will play no part in the friendlies in Philadelphia on Friday and Los Angeles four days later. The AFA confirmed that their captain would be absent with “a minor injury to the hamstring of his right leg.”

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Messi’s return could come on April 4 when Inter Miami host Monterrey in the first leg of the Champions Cup quarterfinal. Head coach Tata Martino said: “We’ll continuously evaluate what he’s doing. The objective is for him to arrive to be able to play in the quarterfinals of Champions Cup. We don’t want to take a risk.”

Messi has played five games in all competitions for the Herons this season, scoring five and providing two assists. Without their talisman at the weekend, Miami still claimed a 3-1 win thanks to two goals from Luis Suarez. Argentina, meanwhile, have not announced a replacement for Messi.

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