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As Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's upcoming friendlies against El Salvador and Costa Rica with a hamstring injury, things are beginning to add up for the Argentine. His importance to Inter Miami and Argentina is clear but after missing time last season due to bruising and fatigue to his leg, with a long-term injury that was aggravated while on international duty, it's fair to ask the question of if this is something that Inter Miami will have to manage to the best of their abilities for the 36-year-old.

Before even adding in Concacaf Champions Cup with trips to Mexico and Central America on the docket, MLS already has the most extensive travel requirements of any league in the world which, combined with international commitments, could make Messi among the most well-traveled men in the world. When taking all of that into account, rest and recovery are critical for not only Messi but any other players in the league.

These issues and the match congestion due to some teams taking part in Concacaf Champions Cup, the Leagues Cup, and league play were part of the driving force to pull some teams out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but even with that, Messi can't play every day.

His injury was already concerning because after Tata Martino stated that Messi could've played against Orlando City if it were a meaningful game, Messi then only logged 50 minutes against Nashville SC in the Champions Cup before now missing out on international duty with Argentina. 

On the bright side, this could give Messi around 17 days of rest and a much-needed break. Following the shortest offseason in league history with a globe-trotting preseason tour led to Benjamin Cremaschi, Facundo Farias, Franco Negri, Robbie Robinson, and Messi all missing the Herons' most recent match facing D.C. United. Center back Nicolas Freire then left that match in the 30th minute with an injury of his own as the list of missing players gets longer for Martino by the day. 

The Herons will need to prioritize when Messi is pushed to his limits versus being rested but the plus side of starting the season off well, it's fine if Messi doesn't play full games. Luis Suarez has shown that he can pick up the slack without his partner in crime and since the top nine teams in the Eastern Conference make playoffs, there's no reason to push him too hard in league play. Messi's long-term health is much more important than Eastern Conference seeding and just like how the Herons won the Leagues Cup last season, as long as their stars are healthy for any knockout competition, they have a good chance at winning it.

Depth will need to be added if Miami wants to win MLS Cup but with how far out that is, it's more important to worry about the things that they can control and chief among them is resting Messi when possible and putting all of their eggs in the Champions Cup basket. With Copa America during the summer, nothing is a given as to how many minutes Messi's legs can take during the fall but there's also no need to worry about that as Miami may have qualified for the Club World Cup by then, adding more honors to show that the acquisition of the Argentine was worth it.