Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets won't play vs. Vancouver Saturday

Lionel Messi fans in Vancouver hoping to see the World Cup champion play Saturday night won’t get the chance.

Messi, Luis Suárez and Sergio Busquets did not travel with Inter Miami on its cross-continent flight Thursday from South Florida to Vancouver.

Inter Miami is scheduled to play Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday night, with kickoff slated for 10:30 p.m. ET.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Messi and his former Barcelona teammates are not injured. With two home games next week and at least 12 hours of expected travel to and from Vancouver, club officials opted to rest the trio, a person with knowledge of the decision told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

inter miami’s lionel messi, luis suárez, sergio busquets won't play vs. vancouver saturday

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are among the Inter Miami stars who won't be playing Saturday vs. Vancouver.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, which said it had expected a club record crowd Saturday, also released a statement Thursday night:

“While we haven't received an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets for this weekend, we understand they will not make this trip. Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible,“ Whitecaps FC CEO Axel Schuster said in a statement.

“We always want our best players going up against our opponent's best players, and facing players of the highest pedigree was especially exciting for our team. We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans. We remain committed to making this a special experience for everyone. It is still going to be an incredible atmosphere and celebration of soccer for our city. We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."

All in-stadium food and beverages will be discounted 50%, and all kids will be provided one free kids meal combo for the game, Vancouver said.

Messi played the entire match last Saturday at home vs. D.C. United, but did appear to favor his left leg during a Tuesday night practice open to media and season-ticket holders.

Messi initially suffered a left leg injury in Montreal on May 11. He appeared to hyperextend his leg during a collision with a Montreal player. Inter Miami identified the injury as a knock or a blow, and not a muscular or structural injury, the week following the injury.

Messi sat out of Inter Miami’s match on May 15 on the road against Orlando City as a precaution.

After the Vancouver match, Inter Miami will host Atlanta United on May 29 and St. Louis City SC on June 1 — the last two matches Messi will play before the FIFA international window begins next month.

Messi will also participate in two Argentina friendlies before Copa America begins. He will captain Argentina against Ecuador at Chicago's Solider Field on June 9. Five days later, Messi and Argentina will face Guatemala at Commanders Field in Landover, Maryland.

Messi and Argentina will take center stage in the Copa America opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on June 20.

Argentina is the defending World Cup and Copa America champions, and the tournament could be Messi’s last for his country.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets won't play vs. Vancouver Saturday

OTHER NEWS

4 hrs ago

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy 'getting fed up' with owner Jerry Jones: report

4 hrs ago

Who Should Steelers Hope Wins Training Camp QB Battle?

4 hrs ago

Goaltender's dad talks up the Oilers' chances of lifting the Stanley Cup

4 hrs ago

Phillies turn rare 1-3-5 triple play against Tigers, 1st since 1929

4 hrs ago

Discount Burger Check? Chiefs' Reid Shares Hilarious Commercial Story

4 hrs ago

'Devastating loss': Digital lending library, Internet Archive, removes 500,000 books after being sued by publishers

4 hrs ago

Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka vs Elena Rybakina: WTA ‘Big 4’ state of play ahead of Wimbledon

4 hrs ago

Would a Toronto byelection loss spell doom for Trudeau?

4 hrs ago

BlackSuit ransomware gang blamed for ongoing car dealership outages

4 hrs ago

'Unreal' injury-time equaliser saves football powerhouse

4 hrs ago

Nigel Farage accused of cosying up to the Kremlin by former NATO boss

4 hrs ago

Dagestan, in southern Russia, has a history of violence. Why does it keeps happening?

4 hrs ago

Marines revive a World War II airfield on Peleliu in Pacific pivot

4 hrs ago

Fortnite Brings Tilted Towers and Other Fan Favorite Locations, But With a Twist

4 hrs ago

Shadow of the Erdtree Puts the Cherry on Top of Elden Rings Main Strength

4 hrs ago

Anger erupts as Albo's governor-general is awarded payrise

4 hrs ago

Charo Makes Rare Public Appearance at Project Angel Food Event: 'Life Is Beautiful' (Exclusive)

4 hrs ago

Boozed-up England fans sing '10 German bombers' chant in Cologne

4 hrs ago

Show Respect: ‘Boys are surprised we talk about this, it’s become normalised’

4 hrs ago

After clash with prosecutor, judge reserves ruling on restricting Trump’s rhetoric about agents’ classified documents search

4 hrs ago

Peter Dutton’s nuclear plan ‘doesn’t deliver’ any ‘energy price decrease’ until 2040

4 hrs ago

Where to watch Netherlands vs. Austria live stream, TV channel, lineups, prediction for Euro 2024 match

4 hrs ago

China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples

4 hrs ago

Report: Knicks’ OG Anunoby declines player option, enters unrestricted free agency

4 hrs ago

Saints offensive line ranked 19th in the NFL

4 hrs ago

Senators acquire goaltender Linus Ullmark from Bruins

4 hrs ago

Why Qld feels like home for the Blues

4 hrs ago

Seahawks waive 3 undrafted free agents, make UFL champ signing official

4 hrs ago

Andrew Scott Frantically Runs to Hear Taylor Swift's ‘Style' at 'Eras Tour'

4 hrs ago

England’s Test series v New Zealand: Date, kick-off time and TV channel

4 hrs ago

Bills' McDermott Says Von Miller Has ‘Something to Prove’

4 hrs ago

US prosecutors want Boeing to face criminal charges

4 hrs ago

Finance Minister Michael McGrath set to become Ireland's new EU Commissioner

4 hrs ago

Red-hot Cardinals get huge boost in return of star catcher

4 hrs ago

How police use the mail to spy on you: 60,000 cases in last decade with little pushback

4 hrs ago

These 3 Republicans are Trump’s most likely VP picks

4 hrs ago

Roy Jones Jr. announces his son, DeAndre, died by suicide

4 hrs ago

Luxury Gyms, Like Equinox and Life Time, Are Taking Over Big Retail Spaces

4 hrs ago

Automobili Pininfarina PURA Vision wins prestigious Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2024

4 hrs ago

Pop legend Robbie Williams wears his AFL jersey to see if he still gets recognised in London - with some very surprising results