Messi returns to Argentina practice: Here’s the latest on his injury

Lionel Messi continues to make progress toward his return from injury for Argentina during Copa América 2024.

Messi returned to practice with his teammates Monday in Miami, Argentina’s national team announced before traveling to Houston for a quarterfinal matchup Thursday against Ecuador at NRG Stadium.

It was Messi’s first full practice since he sustained a right groin/adductor injury against Chile June 25, causing him to watch Argentina’s 2-0 win over Peru from the bench Saturday night. Messi was training with a trainer separately from his teammates before Monday’s encouraging update.

Messi, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and 2022 World Cup champion, was also named to the MLS All-Star Game roster Monday.

Will Messi play vs. Ecuador in Copa América quarterfinal?

Messi’s status for the Copa América quarterfinal match remains in question. It’s unclear whether he’ll return to the starting lineup or come off the bench for the Ecuador match.

How to watch Argentina vs. Ecuador live stream?

The Argentina vs. Ecuador match on Thursday will be broadcast by FOX (in English) and on Univision/TUDN (in Spanish).

How has Messi performed during Copa América?

Messi has been considered day to day with the injury, but Monday’s development is a positive step.

Messi had an assist in Argentina’s 2-0 win in their Copa América opener against Canada, but scoreless through two matches.

Which teams are playing in Copa América quarterfinals?

Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals out of Group A with victories over Canada, Chile and Peru.

Ecuador reached the quarterfinals after a scoreless draw with Mexico on Sunday, while Venezuela finished first in Group B.

Uruguay leads Group C, and will play the U.S. men’s national team later Monday at 9 p.m. inside Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Panama and Bolivia will also be in action at 9 p.m. in Inter&Co Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

The U.S. needs at least a draw and to maintain a goal-differential tiebreaker to edge Panama for the second quarterfinal spot in the group. The U.S. has a two-goal lead entering the match.

Colombia leads Group D and will play second-place Brazil on Tuesday at 9 p.m. inside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Brazil has four points and a three-goal differential lead over third-place Costa Rica, who plays Panama at the same time at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.

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