THE disc problem sustained by second row Alex Brown with rule him out of contention for the forthcoming Gloucester matches until the end of November.
The Kingsholm second row has sustained an injury to his neck and following advice from the Gloucester medical team he will not be considered for selection for forthcoming European Challenge Cup or Premiership matches.
Brown will continue to be monitored over the next seven days in case he makes any improvement but he will miss Gloucester's forthcoming fixtures as a result of the injury.
"Nothing else has been on my mind for the last few days and it is gutting to know I will miss an opportunity with Gloucester and potentially with England," Brown said.
"I will see a specialist and hopefully we will know more later this week. I just have to try and remain positive and take the best out of the situation and return fitter and stronger."
His head coach Dean Ryan added: "This is certainly unfortunate timing for Alex and for the club and his desire to play at an international level.
"He will be an obvious loss to us as we continue to evaluate his condition."
Brown signed for Gloucester in the summer of 2003 from Bristol. The A team international topped the line-out statistics during the 2003/4 season and was voted the players' player of the year.
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.
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).