Gloucester back-row man Jake Boer is coming to terms with the fact that he will miss Saturday's massive Zurich Wild Card final clash against Saracens at Twickenham (Sat 14 May, kick off 1pm).
The 29 year-old was getting back to his best form in recent weeks, but finished the win over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday with a broken hand.
Talking to www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com Boer said: "It's called a spiral fracture, and it happened in a tackle. Two of my fingers bent right back and snapped the bone in my hand."
The South African flanker, who has made 20 Zurich Premiership appearances this season, is expecting a recovery period of about a month to six weeks.
"It's very disappointing as the last few months have been tough, and we've just started to get back into a better rhythm. It's incredibly hard to deal with at the moment.
"I'll still be there though with the boys, even if it is only bringing on the water. Everyone still knows how important it is on Saturday.
"It's interesting that the game this weekend is between fifth and sixth. With what's at stake, in terms of Heineken Cup qualification, it's as important as it gets.
"We've haven't played well enough this season, and that shows with our final Premiership standing. This Club needs to be in the Heineken Cup, but there's no use just talking about it, we need to work hard.
"The fact is that is comes down to one game now. We've been in the Heineken Cup for the last few seasons, and we have the motivation to be there next season."
With Boer's absence, director of rugby Nigel Melville and coach Dean Ryan have back-row options with Adam Balding, Peter Buxton, James Forrester, Wales U21 captain James Merriman and Luke Narraway available. Andy Hazell is likely to be ruled out with a head injury.
The Gloucester medical staff will be monitoring Marcel Garvey, Terry Fanolua, Olly Morgan and Phil Vickery, who all missed the semi-final victory, throughout the week to get them ready for Saturday's big game.
Speaking to GRTV in front of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, Henry Trinder explained how important the West Country Challenge Cup is going to be for the Cherry and Whites in their preseason preparations.
Speaking to GRTV at preseason training this Tuesday, new signing Willi Heinz gave an update on his recovery from a leg injury and expressed his enjoyment since his arrival in new surroundings with Gloucester Rugby.
Speaking to GRTV after the 22-23 defeat against Bordeaux-Begles which denied Gloucester a place in next season's European Rugby Champions Cup, Nick Wood rued the momentary lapse in concentration which allowed the French side to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
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.
Henry Trinder, Matt Banahan and Jack Yeandle all spoke of their excitement for the West Country Challenge Cup at this afternoon's launch in front of the iconic West Country landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
With Gloucester Rugby's international stars on intensive camps across the world, it was just Sila Puafisi in competitive action this weekend, playing his part in Tonga's strong 28-18 triumph over Canada in Vancouver.
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