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U.S. team: Howard 'making progress'

June 15, 2010 news services

IRENE, South Africa -- No further tests are needed for goalkeeper Tim Howard and he is "making progress" recovering from bruised ribs, U.S. Soccer said Monday.

The team said that Howard is cleared to play against Slovenia.

U.S. Soccer had said Sunday that Howard would get treatment that day and evening and then a final decision would be made Monday.

Howard collided with Emile Heskey in Saturday's U.S.-England game and played the second half after having a cortisone injection.

Howard was injured when Heskey's foot slid into him in the 29th minute Saturday night. Howard was down for a while, saying he felt "in agony." When the game resumed, he grimaced several times.

Coach Bob Bradley had said Sunday he did not know the extent of Howard's injury or if his rib was broken.

Howard, the starter for Everton in the Premier League, is backed by Wolverhampton's Marcus Hahnemann on the U.S. team. Brad Guzan, the backup to Brad Friedel on Aston Villa, is the No. 3 American goalkeeper.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.