OLIVIER AZAM, Gloucester's French hooker, is in contention to make a return to the squad for their Guinness Premiership trip to Leeds Tykes on Sunday.
Azam has been out of action since the second week of October because of an injury to his left shoulder that eventually required surgery - the second almost identical injury to afflict the former French international after he damaged his right shoulder last season.
But he has resumed full contact training and could feature in the squad for Gloucester's penultimate Guinness Premiership match of the season.
"Olivier has been plagued by injuries to both shoulders for almost two seasons now but he has resumed full training and could be in contention for this weekend," head coach Dean Ryan confirmed to www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"He is someone who provides a great deal of energy and power and is supremely competitive. At certain times this season we have missed what he brings us but to have him available for our last two Premiership matches is a significant boost.
"At this stage he is obviously short of game-time but he is the sort of guy we want around the squad and we will make a decision on him later this week."
Azam has made four Premiership appearances this season and scored in Gloucester's victory over Sale Sharks back in September.
Speaking straight after the game, skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV that losing at home to Bath, in front of a tremendous home support, was desperately disappointing and that the whole team were hurting in the dressing room.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
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.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.