GLOUCESTER skipper Marco Bortolami is undergoing treatment in Italy for a strain to his posterior cruciate ligament and joint capsule of his left knee and was not considered for Italy's squad to face South Africa.
He will continue his rehabilitation for six weeks following consultation with specialist Andy Williams, the same doctor used by number eight James Forrester in the recovery process of his own knee injury last season.
Following an MRI scan last week, it was revealed that Bortolami does not require surgery and will continue with his rehabilitation accordingly.
"Although the injury is not as serious as an ACL or MCL it needed immediate attention in order to clear it up so I can resume with Gloucester for pre-season," Bortolami told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
"The injury was the main reason I could not finish the Guinness Premiership semi-final against Leicester and I am obviously extremely disappointed to miss out on selection to Italy's squad to face World Champions South Africa. I will continue my rehabilitation in Italy for the next few weeks before returning to Gloucester."
Bortolami will join both James Simpson-Daniel and Nick Wood in undergoing recovery this summer.
After his last ditch try clinched the 42-40 Aviva Premiership victory over Newcastle at Kingsholm on Saturday, Billy Burns told GRTV that all the Gloucester team deserve credit for hanging in there against a Falcons team who really made life tough for the Cherry and Whites.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Newcastle Falcons (kick off 3pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys emphasised the importance this weekend of Gloucester building on last week's impressive home victory against the Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking to the assembled national and local media, try-scorer Jonny May was delighted and relieved to have tasted victory on Saturday evening, and is looking forward to the European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action against the Newcastle Falcons on Saturday (Kingsholm, kick off 3pm), and make several changes to the side that defeated Exeter Chiefs at home last weekend.