Marco Bortolami has suffered a fractured a left eye socket
GLOUCESTER Rugby can confirm that Marco Bortolami, their captain and Italian second row, has suffered a double fracture to his left eye socket.
He will be evaluated in Milan later today to assess whether he requires surgery but he is likely to face between four to six weeks on the sidelines, although will miss only one Gloucester match due to his call-up to the Italian squad for the Six Nations campaign.
Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan said: "At this stage of a very demanding season you pick up injuries but this is a significant blow alongside the injury we have already suffered to Alex Brown.
"We will monitor the situation and at this stage we have not decided whether we need to look for a short-term replacement but it is an option we will consider when we know the full extent of Marco's injury."
Bortolami has made 13 appearances in all competitions this season for Gloucester.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Monday evening saw Freddie Clarke in A League action against Exeter, Saturday saw him make his Aviva Premiership debut. And both games resulted in wins! Freddie spoke to GRTV after the 39-30 win over Sale.
Gloucester's young United side once again dug deep to take an illustrious scalp, overturning a half-time deficit to earn a 40-29 victory over Wasps and earn a place in the Aviva Premiership A League final.