MIKE TINDALL underwent surgery on Saturday evening to have a pin inserted into the lower third of the tibia in his right leg following his fracture against Newcastle Falcons on Friday.
The Gloucester and England star suffered the undisplaced fracture in the second half of Gloucester's 19-12 defeat at Kingston Park and faces a minimum of 12 weeks' recovery time.
"An injury of this severity to one of our key individuals at this stage of the season is obviously a serious blow because Mike possesses all the characteristics you require during the play-offs," head coach Dean Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"He has big-game experience, natural leadership qualities and knows what it takes to win these one-off matches and we will miss his contribution."
Gloucester can also confirm that Karl Pryce faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The former rugby league winger re-fractured a bone in his left foot during his Guinness Premiership debut against Northampton last month and has had a pin inserted.
The 20-year-old will now focus on rehabilitation over the summer with a view to returning to first team action at the start of next season.
"We wish Mike and Karl all the very best in their recovery processes and will be right behind them," added Ryan.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.