Gloucester Rugby confirmed on Thursday morning that openside flanker Andy Hazell has been ruled out until the New Year through injury but that several of his team mates are set to return.
Hazell suffered a severe hamstring injury during Gloucester's Guinness Premiership match against Sale Sharks on Friday 30th October.
Following subsequent scans and specialist opinion, it has been determined that no surgery is required, though Hazell faces a rehab period of up to 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, three Gloucester players who have been missing from 1st XV action following varying degrees of longer-term injuries are nearing full fitness and will be available to Head Coach Bryan Redpath either this week or next.
Prop Nick Wood who injured a foot at London Irish on the second weekend of the season, flanker Peter Buxton and fullback Olly Morgan who have both been restricted to just three appearances so far this season are all back in the frame.
Finally, flanker Apo Satala has been called up to the Fiji squad for the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test at Murrayfield against Scotland on Saturday.
Satala is cover for Worcester back row Netani Talei who is injured.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.