Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi arrives for an MLS soccer...

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi arrives for an MLS soccer match against D.C. United, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —

Lionel Messi returned to the starting lineup for Inter Miami’s match against DC United on Saturday after missing the club’s previous game because of knee soreness.

The Argentine star forward didn’t play in Inter Miami scoreless draw against Orlando City on Wednesday. Before his absence in the midweek match, Messi appeared in six consecutive games, playing the central role in Miami’s rise to the top of the MLS Eastern Conference.

Messi scored or assisted in five straight games until Inter Miami’s 3-2 win against Montreal last Saturday.

The likelihood of Messi playing in this match increased after he participated in team workouts the past two days.

The start of the match was in a weather delay after thunderstorms hit Chase Stadium before the clubs' pregame drills.

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Inter Miami forward Luis Suarez, left, and forward Lionel Messi,...

Inter Miami forward Luis Suarez, left, and forward Lionel Messi, right, arrive for an MLS soccer match against D.C. United, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

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