United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard has been diagnosed with two broken vertebrae in his back and will be out for “several weeks” according to a report in The Guardian.
Howard suffered the injury while playing for his club team Everton in an FA Cup match against Oldham Athletic on February 26th. In the 85th minute of the match, Howard landed awkwardly after tumbling over Oldham striker Danny Simpson. Howard stayed in the game and made several saves to preserve Everton’s 3-1 win that night, but the new diagnosis will keep him out of action for an unknown amount of time.
Everton Manager David Moyes elaborated in the report:
“I have let him go away for a few days. It might be that, if everything goes well, he misses next week’s game as well [against Manchester City] and then because of the international break he might be close after the rest because that would be four weeks.
“He has two fractures, but they are not bones that are supporting anything. It is off the spine. They are not weight-bearing. It just needs a bit of healing time. It is not like a pure fracture where you need to wait to look at it. It is a question of whether he can cope with the pain. The bones will heal themselves but it’s not good.”
In addition to missing Everton’s upcoming games against Wigan and Manchester City at the very least, Howard’s injury also puts him in doubt for the next two United States World Cup Qualifiers. Howard is the every day starter for the U.S. National Team and usually serves as the teams’ captain on the field.