Tata explains Messi absence

Tata Martino has revealed that Lionel Messi's absence during Argentina's 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Saturday was due to 'a swollen foot'.

The Barcelona forward was a doubt heading into the friendly in Washington and failed to prove his fitness in time, leaving the Coach to ponder over his participation against Ecuador on Tuesday.

"Messi didn't play because his foot was swollen," he said after the game.

"He tried [to prove his fitness] in the last training season but was unable to do so. Therefore, it was decided that he wouldn't play.

"The doctors' images didn't show any damage, but when he began to train, his foot swelled up.

"We're not going to risk Messi. If this [swelling] continues, he won't play [against Ecuador] on Tuesday. We'll take caution.

"While we have some kind of expectation that Messi will be able to play, we'll wait until the last moment [for him]."

Tags Argentina Ecuador El Salvador friendly Lionel Messi Tata Martino