GLOUCESTER'S Wales number eight Gareth Delve will have surgery on July 9 to assess the damage to his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Delve will undergo his operation following consultation with specialist Andy Williams and will be out of action for a number of months and will miss the start of the season.
The 25-year-old suffered damage to his left knee during Wales' summer tour to South Africa and Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan said: "Gareth is a tremendous individual and an outstanding player - someone we wanted to build around for the future.
"This injury is obviously a significant set-back to him and the club but I have no doubts he will be back in Gloucester colours next season. He has drive, determination and a willingness to succeed and I am sure that will come through in his recovery."
Delve made 20 appearances in all competitions for Gloucester last season following his summer move from Bath.
Meanwhile, flanker Akapusi Qera will see a specialist in London on Monday to determine the extent of his knee injury.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.