American goalkeeper Tim Howard broke two bones in his back during a game two weeks ago and could miss extended time his club in England, Everton, revealed Friday.
"We don't think he will be out for the season," manager David Moyes said on the team's official site. "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."
That international break is of particular interest to U.S. soccer fans and now possibly even more to Real Salt Lake and its fans.
If Howard misses substantial time, he could be unavailable for World Cup qualifying games against Costa Rica on March 22 and Mexico on March 26.
In his stead, Aston Villa goalie Brad Guzan seems a likely candidate to get the start in those qualifiers. But RSL goalie Nick Rimando could be in the mix, too.
And that would make backup keeper Josh Saunders all the more important for RSL. The team believed Rimando would miss time this season with the U.S. team during Gold Cup play. If Rimando gets additional call-ups, Saunders, who won two MLS championships with Los Angeles, could see extra time in goal for Salt Lake.