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Injured Inter Miami star Lionel Messi ruled out vs. Red Bulls, but improving

Lionel Messi of Inter Miami will not play this weekend because of a hamstring injury. File Photo by Larry Marano/UPI
1 of 3 | Lionel Messi of Inter Miami will not play this weekend because of a hamstring injury. File Photo by Larry Marano/UPI | License Photo

March 22 (UPI) -- Star striker Lionel Messi has been ruled out for Inter Miami's Saturday game against the New York Red Bulls because of a right hamstring injury, but is improving, manager Tata Martino told reporters Friday.

"We have to wait until next week to see if he's available," Martino said.

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Messi, 36, sustained the injury during the Herons' 3-1 win over Nashville SC in the Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16 on March 13 in Fort Lauderdale. He did not play three days later, when the Herons beat DC United 3-1.

The Herons will battle the Red Bulls at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday in Harrison, N.J. They will host New York City FC on Saturday at Chase Stadium. The Herons are then scheduled to face Monterrey in the Champions Cup quarterfinals April 3 in Fort Lauderdale.

Martino said Messi participated in four practices, including Friday, since his injury.

Argentina announced earlier this week that Messi also would not be available for its friendly matches Friday and Tuesday against El Salvador and Costa Rica, respectively. Those matches will be played in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

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