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.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Monday evening saw Freddie Clarke in A League action against Exeter, Saturday saw him make his Aviva Premiership debut. And both games resulted in wins! Freddie spoke to GRTV after the 39-30 win over Sale.
Billy Burns will get the headlines for his 16 point haul, but it was a team of heroes who went to La Rochelle and fought like demons to secure a magnificent 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win on Saturday evening.
Gloucester Rugby welcome back scrum-halves Willi Heinz and Greig Laidlaw to the matchday squad as they make five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday evening's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final against Stade Rochelais.