Worcester Warriors have today confirmed that experienced props Tevita Taumoepeau and Chris Horsman and young back row Matt Cox will all miss the rest of this season.
Tongan star Taumoepeau, who has played a total of 105 senior games for Warriors and made 23 appearances this season, has gone under the knife for an operation to cure an injury to his left shoulder and will have further surgery later this month.
Former Wales international Horsman has been restricted to 13 appearances this season and it has now been confirmed that he will now miss the remainder of the current campaign with an on-going neck problem.
Back row Cox suffered a dislocated left shoulder after coming on against Bristol Rugby at the weekend and will have an operation on Friday.
"It's a blow to lose such experienced players as Tevita and Chris for such a long period of time and definitely until the end of the season with the league run-in and European Challenge Cup quarter-final to come," said Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock.
"There is no doubt that some of our lack of form is down to being able to apply pressure to the opposition in the scrum with key players like them missing.
"We have a number of other injuries which have been quite unbelievable given that we already have a number of long term injury victims such as Sam Tuitupou, Chris Latham and Chris Pennell.
"Matt Cox is also out for the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder as soon as he came on against Bristol which was most unfortunate.
"Netani Talei is also struggling with a back injury, which is why he didn't make the bench against Bristol, and James Collins had another fitness test prior to our Bristol game which forced him out.
"I have been coaching for 22 years and have never seen anything like this before where we have had so many major injuries, even to the point when certain quality players couldn't start the season in Marcel Garvey and Hal Luscombe.
"But on the positive side, we are fortunate to have such a good Academy structure here that now gives an opportunity to a number of young players to put their hands up and become the next Miles Benjamin or Matt Mullan."
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