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.
Speaking with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
20 year old Lewis Ludlow was one of Gloucester's young guns who contributed hugely to the 18-9 LV= Cup win at London Welsh on Sunday afternoon. After the game, he praised his team mates for the massive team effort by an inexperienced side.
There are three changes to Gloucester Rugby's starting line-up for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons. Steve McColl will make his first Premiership start for the club.