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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.