Gloucester have been dealt a major blow going into the Christmas period after captain Tom Savage underwent surgery on a torn pectoral muscle.
The 24-year-old club captain is now set for an extended spell out of the game after sustaining the injury against Leicester Tigers in November.
"Tom's had surgery and will be out for at least the next couple of months," director of rugby Nigel Davies told the Gloucester Citizen on Thursday.
"We have a few injuries as you would expect at this time of year.
"We're running with just over 20 per cent unavailable and that's why you carry a squad of players and why we had a rotation policy earlier on.
"That should benefit us because all the players stepping in have had rugby.
"The back-row was an area where we went into the season very heavy, arguably over heavy but as it pans out it's just as well."