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 after the 15-3 Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton, Director of Rugby David Humphreys couldn't criticise his team's effort in difficult conditions, but pinpointed the errors and indiscipline that allowed Stephen Myler to kick the home team to victory.
A handful of the Gloucester Rugby Mo-Bros visited Pride Hair Salon in Gloucester on Wednesday afternoon to have the final touches applied to their Movember efforts, and the team captain Jacob Rowan spoke to GRTV ahead of the final few days of the month.
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.