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.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
At the recent London Irish game, personnel from the Imjin Barracks in Innsworth, including Gurkhas, were present, holding a collection to raise funds for ShelterBox to aid relief from the recent Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
It was a thriller at Kingsholm on Sunday afternoon, as Gloucester snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, leveling the scores in the final minute before triumphing in extra time over a spirited Connacht side.