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Inter Miami head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino confirmed on Friday that Jordi Alba will miss the match against Nashville SC on Saturday at Chase Stadium, but expects Lionel Messi to remain in the starting lineup for the weeks leading up to Copa América.

“Jordi suffered a muscle injury, he will miss this upcoming match and the next one. After that, we will begin evaluating on a game-by-game basis,” Martino told a news conference.

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“There’s nothing special right now with Messi. We will be playing games on the weekends for the next few weeks, we just have one midweek game against Orlando City. We will evaluate those moments once the schedule begins to compress, but I don’t think we need to analyze a special plan [for Messi] because he feels good. He’s working well on a day-to-day basis, and at the pace we are going we will remain in the same way.”

Martino added that Inter Miami’s elimination from the Concacaf Champions Cup means that rotation is less necessary.

“No [rotations]. When the team plays one competition, like we will starting this week, and have games every six to seven days, there is no motivation to rotate unless we are running a risk or there’s a specific situation. If there are no specific situations, then we at this moment do not have plans for rotation.”

Inter Miami is in first place in the Eastern Conference table with 15 points from nine games. The team kicked off the season with various injuries, with up to seven players unavailable for selection at one point, including Messi, Benjamin Cremaschi and Robert Taylor among others.

Martino said fans can expect to see a full roster, Alba and Federico Redondo aside, until Copa América and Olympics, before railing against MLS’ salary cap.

“Now, with Jordi and Redondo’s injuries, we have one more month until all players are available. But then Copa América and the Olympics come and we will have absences.

MLS has a characteristic when it comes to salary caps. When December comes, we will have been playing with a full roster for about four months, and already be forced to rebuild the team for next season. This league makes you think of the present but also the short and medium terms. It’s very probable that in December, we will be talking about players that have left and players that will return.

“That’s the way of this league. Teams cannot be conserved with the same nucleus during six, seven or eight years because salaries change and contracts are modified in a way that forces you to sell.”

Copa América runs from June 20 to July 14 in and will be held in the United States.



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