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 the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.