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 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.
Despite a dream start at Kingston Park, scoring a try after just 26 seconds, Gloucester couldn't capitalise against a dogged Newcastle Falcons side. Too many penalties were conceded and too many errors made as the Falcons prevailed 20-10.
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.