Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

London – Tim Howard is out for the most crucial part of the season after breaking two bones in his back.

The Everton keeper, 34, was injured when Oldham striker Robbie Simpson clattered into him during the FA Cup fifth-round replay 12 days ago. Aside from sitting out Saturday’s quarter-final against Wigan, Howard will be absent for next Saturday’s home clash with Manchester City, and may miss Stoke at Goodison on March 30.

The worst-case scenario would be an absence of more than six weeks, missing a trip to Arsenal and, potentially, the FA Cup semi-final. Slovakian Jan Mucha, who has only made eight appearances in nearly three years at the club, will replace Howard, with 19-year-old novice Mason Springthorpe on the bench. Moyes said: “When Tim fell he toppled over him like a tree. I have let him go away for a few days. We can’t get an emergency loan in for the FA Cup.”

Meanwhile, John Heitinga will replace defender Phil Jagielka — out for three weeks with a gash on his ankle after last week’s 3-1 win over Reading. – Daily Mail