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, front row forward John Afoa spoke of the squad's targets for this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Final with Cardiff Blues at Kingsholm. Despite taking on new opponents, the squad know the focus is on themselves to get the job done as knockout rugby kicks in.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).