Bath captain Stuart Hooper suffers fresh injury blow

Stuart Hooper

Bath captain Stuart Hooper has been ruled out for four to six weeks with a fractured thumb.

The 30-year-old lock suffered the injury in the 14-11 defeat by local rivals Gloucester on Saturday - his first game back after fracturing his eye socket in January.

Hooper was also sidelined with an arm injury earlier in the season.

"It's a year I'm sure he'll want to put behind him," Bath coach Brad Davis told BBC Radio Bristol.

"You've got to look at the positives. It's a year that's been lost but also a year he can gain back further down the line.

"He's going to be important to us over the next six weeks with what he can do off the field. We'll keep him positive and make sure he comes back as fresh as he can be."

Hooper missed the end of last season with a broken arm but returned to the fold at the start of the current Premiership campaign - his first as Bath skipper.

But he has been restricted to just 11 appearances since September, with Francois Louw taking over the captain's armband.