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.
Following the 48-10 Aviva Premiership win over London Welsh on Saturday, Dan Murphy praised his team mates for battling right up to the very last minute in difficult conditions and maintaining the momentum that the team have built in 2015.
Henry Purdy scored two memorable tries against London Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, and attributed the first one to hard work on the training ground before describing how much he's enjoying playing his rugby alongside friends like Callum Braley.
Gloucester face London Welsh for the third time this season when they meet at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm), but Director of Rugby David Humphreys insists his team are prepared for a tough game against the Exiles.
Billy Burns was a late call up to the Gloucester team that lost narrowly to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday evening and, speaking to GRTV post match, was full of praise for his team-mates but admitted that defeat was tough to take.
Speaking after what he described as an 'arm wrestle' up front, skipper Tom Savage couldn't fault his side's effort and commitment on the night at Welford Road but insisted that his side will keep on battling, starting at home to London Welsh next weekend.
A number of the Gloucester Rugby squad this week benefitted from an initiative organised by Circle 2 Success (C2S) and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) to help players develop their business planning skills.