Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani has been ruled out for up to six weeks following a pectoral injury that he sustained during the recently concluded Heineken Champions Cup game against Exeter Chiefs last week.
The game at Kingsholm saw Cipriani leaving the field in the 38th minute and was replaced by Tom Hudson as the Cherry and Whites succumbed to a 17-29 defeat.
Cipriani has been a regular member of Gloucester since his arrival at the start of the ongoing season and his absence will be a major blow as they head into a crucial stage of their campaign after positioned third in the Gallagher Premiership.
"He's going to be out for up to four to six weeks," head coach Johan Ackermann told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
"Obviously he's been part of every game this season and played a lot of those games 80 minutes, so it is a big challenge now for us to get through this block without him."
Cipriani, who served a three-week ban for a shoulder charge earlier in the season will be desperate to return back to the action with England set to begin their Six Nations campaign on 1st February when they lock horns with France.
Meanwhile, Gloucester will also be without Jake Polledri after he went under a knife to treat an ankle injury that he sustained during the Round 3 Champions Cup clash against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.