Tim Howard is set for a spell on the sidelines after scans revealed the goalkeeper has broken two bones in his back.
The 32 year old, who was three appearances shy of breaking Neville Southall’s consecutive league appearance record, landed awkwardly following a challenge in the FA Cup victory over Oldham ten days ago and missed the win over Reading last weekend due to the injury. However, manager David Moyes has now confirmed that the American will miss a number of weeks of action due to the broken bones.
Moyes said: “Tim is out against Wigan. He has broken two bones in his back. We don’t think he will be out for the season. 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. 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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Tom Power is a 28 year old trainee journalist and assistant editor of NSNO.