By IVES GALARCEP
When Tim Howard landed hard on the ground during Everton’s FA Cup win vs. Oldham, he got right back up and continued on looking unscathed. We are only now beginning to learn the ramifications of that painful-looking tumble.
Howard suffered two fractured bones in his back and is set to be sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time, Everton manager David Moyes revealed on Friday.
“We don’t think he will be out for the season,” Moyes said. “I read that (Newcastle’s Fabricio) Coloccini could be out for seven weeks (with a similar injury) but we are not sure how long Tim will be out for because, obviously with a goalkeeper, he has to dive around and hit the ground.
“I have let him go away for a few days,” Moyes said. “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.
That timetable would rule Howard out of the March U.S. Men’s National Team qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, which would then mean Brad Guzan would get the nod.
Howard suffered the injury during Everton’s FA Cup win vs. Oldham, and as of now it remains unclear just what the timetable is for his return.
“He has two fractures, but they are not bones that are supporting anything,” Everton manager David Moyes said. “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.”
There are exactly two weeks between now and the qualifier against Costa Rica, which isn’t much time to heal an injury that could prove troublesome if not handled properly. In theory, Howard could play through some pain and still take part in the qualifiers, but it appears unlikely that Everton would allow Howard to rush his recovery in order to play in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Moyes was also non-commital about exactly how long Howard would be sidelined.
The good news for the U.S. team is that back-up goalkeeper Brad Guzan has become Aston Villa’s regular starter and has enjoyed arguably the best season of his career. Guzan has 20 career national team appearances, with his last start coming in a 1-0 win vs. South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010.
What do you think of this development? Have confidence in Brad Guzan? Worried about how he’ll chaperone an inexperienced U.S. defense in qualifying? Holding out hope that Howard makes a miraculous recovery?
Share your thoughts below.