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.
Gloucester travel to Oyonnax for the second round of the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday evening, and Director of Rugby David Humphreys is expecting a big test from the French side, feeling that their league position doesn't reflect their recent performances.
Speaking exclusively to Gloucester Rugby TV, Matt Kvesic explained that his decision to extend his contract at Kingsholm was a simple one and that he was hugely excited for the future in Cherry and White.
Speaking after the 55-0 win over CA Brive, Jonny May told GRTV that he's delighted that the team's hard work is starting to pay dividends but was equally happy for his friend and team mate, Charlie Sharples, on what was a big night for his fellow winger.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys insisted that Gloucester are looking forward to kicking off the new European Rugby Challenge Cup against Brive on Thursday evening, although an unfamiliar opponent and a five day turnaround will pose a challenge.