GLOUCESTER will monitor the fitness of lock Alex Brown over the next seven days after he was ruled out of European Challenge Cup action with a neck injury.
The Kingsholm forward has been diagnosed with a disc problem that will be assessed over the next week.
He will not travel with the Gloucester side to Bayonne for their opening Challenge Cup game this Saturday. Head coach Dean Ryan said: "Alex has a disc problem and he will be spending the next seven days being assessed. Hopefully after that time we will get some positive news."
Brown has been one of Gloucester's stand-out players this season and has made 108 Premiership appearances with five tries.
"It's disappointing that the injury has happened at this stage but I will work hard with the medical team over the next week and aim to resume playing as soon as possible," Brown said.
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.
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 39-16 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).