Messi after leaving the field on Wednesday. (Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

(CNN) –– Lionel Messi's return to the field was short-lived: The Argentine star was substituted in the 37th minute of Inter Miami's match against Toronto FC on Wednesday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Just minutes after teammate Jordi Alba was taken out of the game, also with an apparent injury, Messi appeared to feel some discomfort, took off his captain's armband and handed it to Deandre Yedlin before leaving the game.

Messi made his way to the bench where he reclined in his chair in apparent frustration. He was later seen walking to the dressing room with eight minutes left in first-half stoppage time.

"They had to get out. We will evaluate them as the days go by," Inter Miami coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said on the Spanish-language Apple TV broadcast during halftime when asked about Messi and Alba.

CNN reached out to Inter Miami for more information.


Wednesday's match was Messi's first play since Sept. 7, when he led Argentina's win over Ecuador in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

The star was not at the MLS regular-season match against Atlanta United last weekend. A club source told CNN that the decision was made to rest him because of the number of games he has played since signing for the club in July.

The grass field at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium did not play a role, the source said.

Inter Miami defeated Toronto FC 4-0.

Inter Miami's next scheduled match is Sunday against Orlando City SC and then hosts Houston Dynamo FC in the U.S. Open Cup final on Sept. 27.

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