ANDY HAZELL, Gloucester's breakaway forward, will be out of action for three weeks after scans diagnosed a tear to ligaments in his knee.
The England international limped out of Gloucester's EDF Energy Cup victory over the Dragons on Friday and will now not feature until after Christmas.
It means he will certainly miss Gloucester's back-to-back Heineken Cup matches against Bourgoin and potentially the Guinness Premiership derby against Bristol.
"We have developed a squad so we can cope with injuries to key individuals like Andy," said head coach Dean Ryan. "With the very nature of how Andy plays the game, he will pick up injuries from time to time and we have to manage that.
"It is obviously a blow not to have a player of his energy in the squad for a couple of weeks but we have plenty of options available to us and now we need to concentrate on getting his injury right."
Hazell, who was named the South West rugby player of the year on Sunday night, has made six appearances in all competitions this season.
Gloucester travel to Oyonnax for the second round of the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday evening, and Director of Rugby David Humphreys is expecting a big test from the French side, feeling that their league position doesn't reflect their recent performances.
Speaking exclusively to Gloucester Rugby TV, Matt Kvesic explained that his decision to extend his contract at Kingsholm was a simple one and that he was hugely excited for the future in Cherry and White.
Speaking after the 55-0 win over CA Brive, Jonny May told GRTV that he's delighted that the team's hard work is starting to pay dividends but was equally happy for his friend and team mate, Charlie Sharples, on what was a big night for his fellow winger.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys insisted that Gloucester are looking forward to kicking off the new European Rugby Challenge Cup against Brive on Thursday evening, although an unfamiliar opponent and a five day turnaround will pose a challenge.