NO PANIC FOR INJURY COVER
NIGEL Davies will not seek an injury dispensation signing to plug the gap left by dislocation duo Jonny May and Shane Monahan.
Kingsholm speed king May will only miss a month, despite dislocating his elbow in Gloucester's 42-17 defeat by Toulon.
The 23-year-old wing's lay-off is far shorter than initially feared, as his elbow joint slotted back into place quickly and easily.
Fellow wideman Monahan's shoulder dislocation was nowhere near as straightforward however.
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The 26-year-old Irish raider will miss between three and four months.
Gloucester boss Davies admitted he had weighed up the option of signing a short-term replacement.
But the good news on former Wootton Bassett RFC wing May means Davies will now hold off.
Any further back-three injuries though and Gloucester's rugby director could be forced into an emergency addition.
Premiership clubs are bound by the basic £4.2 million squad salary cap, but a number of additions and exceptions exist in the governing body's ruling.
Clubs are permitted to spend beyond the cap to recruit short to medium-term replacements for players suffering significant injury.
Had Gloucester found themselves two wings down for a third of the season before the campaign had even started then former Wales centre Davies would have looked to exploit the exemption clause.
Davies admitted other clubs have used the injury dispensation rule far better than the Cherry and Whites in the past.
But while the one-time management consultant is keen to keep the option in mind, he did concede recruiting extra personnel could create financial pressures elsewhere at the club.
Davies explained: "Obviously we were concerned about the injuries we picked up in Toulon on the wing and we started to look around the option of the injury dispensation.
"But it's not something we'll look at now because of Jonny's situation turning out far better than it could have.
"Injury dispensation signings are not straightforward at all to be honest.
"Just because you are given flexibility to spend beyond the cap to replace an injured player it doesn't detract from the fact it's an extra coast financially that still has to be handled.
"So entering into that does have implications.
"With our back-three now, and the fact that Jonny's going to be out for a month, it's not so much of a pressure.
"But obviously if we get another injury we may look at it differently."
Davies said preparations for Saturday's Munster clash at Thomond Park (kick-off 5pm) are progressing well.
Stealthy try-scoring wing James Simpson-Daniel will make his return from injury after suffering shoulder damage in November.
The tricky 31-year-old lost his battle to find fitness before the end of last term but is now primed for action in Limerick.
All Black scrum-half Jimmy Cowan is also fit to make his return after undergoing knee ligament surgery in February.
The 31-year-old half-back has found fitness in six months – a particularly sharp recovery from his anterior cruciate ligament repair.
Davies hailed the 'remarkable' rehabilitation timescale, admitting Gloucester's high-altitude training camp in Tignes will have accelerated Cowan's recovery.
Davies continued: "It's remarkable really, and that's based on the fact he's a tough man, he's very determined and he loves playing rugby.
"He's done everything possible to get himself in a position to play.
"The altitude training can certainly have had an effect on that because that increases the red blood cell count, which oxygenates the body, and that has a positive effect in terms of healing."
Lamenting the length of strike-running wing Monahan's recovery period, Davies explained how May's blow has turned out less serious than feared.
He added: "Jonny did dislocate his elbow and that is extremely painful.
"It's one of the more painful injuries to deal with.
"But he was perhaps fortunate in the fact that the joint went straight back in.
"That has made his recovery a lot more straightforward than we had initially anticipated.
"So obviously it was a cruel blow for Jonny to suffer the injury, but he's now recovering well and hopefully will be back fit in about four weeks.
"It's not such good news for Shane unfortunately.
"He will miss three to four months, and that's a real blow.
"He'd started off well out in Toulon and it's just horrible timing for him.
"There are a few more complications with his injury than with Jonny, so he will be out for a while."