GLOUCESTER hooker Mefin Davies has been diagnosed with a damaged vein in his left calf following the injury he picked up against Saracens almost a fortnight ago.
The Welsh international hooker will be monitored over the next fortnight by Gloucester's medical team but there is no indication yet on a potential comeback date.
Davies has featured in six of Gloucester's seven Guinness Premiership games so far this season.
Head coach Dean Ryan said: "We recognise Mefin is an integral part of our squad but we have made it clear this season we are not prepared to rush players back from injury and he will have all the support required to recover fully.
"The timing is very unfortunate for Mefin but it will provide opportunities for other players within our squad to stake their claim for a starting spot."
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.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).