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.
Skipper for the day Aled Thomas praised his Gloucester team mates, especially the younger ones, for the way they took on a tough Ospreys outfit and emerged victorious in the LV= Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Gloucester will field a reshuffled side against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup this weekend, but Backs & Attack Coach Nick Walshe stressed that it's a great opportunity for everyone on duty on Saturday and that maintaining the recent winning run is very important.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester Rugby and the Ospreys shared seven tries and 57 points in the LV= Cup at Kingsholm on Saturday. The Cherry and Whites came out on top and the club photographer captured the best of the action.