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.
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.