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March 8, 2013
Tim Howard breaks 2 bones in his back, will miss 2 USA World Cup qualifiers

The U.S. National Team took a major hit on Friday when it was announced goalkeeper Tim Howard would be sidelined for several weeks after he broke two bones in his back during Everton's recent English F.A. Cup victory over Oldham Athletic.

Howard will miss the U.S.'s two World Cup qualifiers -- against Costa Rica in Commerce City, Colo. on March 21 and at Mexico in Mexico City on March 26.

A native of North Brunswick, N.J., the 34-year-old Howard will not require surgery and is expected to return this English Premier League season.

He incurred the injury in the 85th minute of Everton's fifth-round replay victory as he landed awkwardly after a foul by the Oldham striker Robbie Simpson. Howard played the final five minutes and three minutes of stoppage time with the broken bones, making several saves as Everton recorded a 3-1 win.

Howard, a former MetroStar, won't play against Wigan Athletic in the F.A. Cup quarterfinal this weekend, Everton manager David Moyes said.

"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."

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