HOPES of Francois Hougaard being back for Worcester Warriors’ trip to Bath have been dashed with the scrum-half sidelined for up to three weeks.

Last week director of rugby Gary Gold suggested the influential 29-year-old could be available for Worcester’s next Aviva Premiership fixture at The Rec on Saturday (3pm).

However, Warriors have revealed Hougaard would be out for between two and three weeks.

The number nine is recovering from an adductor injury which he was carrying when he returned to Sixways after being released by South Africa.

It means Hougaard could also miss Worcester’s European Challenge Cup opener against Brive at Sixways on Saturday, October 14 and their visit to Connacht the following Saturday.

Warriors have also confirmed versatile back Ryan Mills would be sidelined for three to four weeks after sustaining a quad injury.

Gold will now be hopeful of getting Mills and Hougaard back fit for Worcester’s league clash at Harlequins on Saturday, October 28.