GLOUCESTER Rugby will continue to investigate and monitor the fitness of England prop Phil Vickery, who has suffered a recurrence of a long-standing back injury.
The Kingsholm tighthead prop, who has been ruled out of England's squad for their opening RBS Six Nations meeting with Wales next month, has sustained a recurrence of previous back trouble due to a recurrent disc protrusion which is undergoing treatment at the moment.
Vickery suffered the set-back following Gloucester's 19-9 Guinness Premiership victory over Saracens and at present, the seriousness of the injury is not known.
Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan said: "Phil has been exceptionally unlucky with injuries in the past but our medical team is in control of the situation and they will continue to investigate and treat the problem.
"The injury is being controlled by the right people but as yet there is no definite indication of how long he will be unavailable.
"Phil has suffered previous back trouble in the past and for that reason we need to ensure we follow the right procedures."
England head coach Andy Robinson added: "Phil Vickery was not considered for the game against Wales because of a back injury and in conjunction with his club Gloucester, we will monitor his progress in the coming weeks."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.