ALEX BROWN, the Gloucester and England second row, has fractured the radius on his right forearm and underwent surgery to plate the injury on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old sustained the injury during the second half of Gloucester's 31-21 Guinness Premiership victory over Harlequins on Saturday and was operated on at the Winfield Hospital in Gloucester later that evening.
Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk: "It is incredibly bad luck for Alex and for the club he has sustained this injury. He will have our total support and backing as he begins his recovery.
"It is obviously a considerable blow but we are fortunate we have plenty of options in that area and it will provide opportunities for other players within the squad."
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.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
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 39-14 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).