FLANKER Sam Lewis is a doubt for Worcester Warriors’ Gallagher Premiership showdown with Leicester Tigers at Sixways on Saturday (3pm).

Director of rugby Alan Solomons said Lewis had “popped a rib” and was “not getting any better” after picking up the injury “a couple of weeks ago”.

Solomons revealed Lewis sustained the blow in the second half of Warriors’ bruising 34-19 defeat to Exeter Chiefs before being replaced by Matti Williams.

Lewis was then named on the bench for the following Premiership Cup match against Wasps at the weekend and came on for Marco Mama twice in the 39-6 loss.

Solomons said the Welshman was a “tough” customer and would make a late call on his fitness for the league opener.

“Sammy has a popped rib, so we will have to look at whether we involve him,” Solomons said.

“He’s been carrying that for a bit but it’s not getting any better.

“Obviously every time it gets knocked it’s a problem.

“It’s not a nice injury.

“The fact is we do have good loose forwards, like young Caleb who I thought went very well against Exeter.

“We have to consider the whole thing before making a decision.”

Asked when Lewis sustained the injury, Solomons said: “He’s been carrying it for a couple of weeks.

“We took him off in the game against Exeter here.

“I think that’s when it was really bad and then he took another knock on Saturday.

“He had to come on for 10 minutes when Marco (Mama) went off for blood (treatment) and then he had the last 20 as there was a bit of fatigue going on there.

“Those things (rib injuries) are extremely painful.

“He’s a tough lad.

“We have to take that into consideration.”

Warriors’ resources at second row have been cut to three with Andrew Kitchener and Justin Clegg likely to miss out due to head injuries.

Kitchener failed a head injury assessment (HIA) just before the interval at Wasps while Clegg suffered a blow playing for Championship side Hartpury last weekend.

But Anton Bresler is back in action after overcoming an ankle problem and Michael Fatialofa has recovered from a knee issue.

Experienced lock Graham Kitchener is also in line to play against former club Leicester.

“I would doubt that Andrew would be available for selection,” Solomons said.

“I think he has a cut and there is a little bit of an infection there.

“But certainly the HIA is the issue.

“Michael is 100 per cent per cent.

“He did (have a problem with his knee) but we have sorted it out and he has practised all week so he is good to go.

“Cleggy has also got a HIA playing for Hartpury on the weekend.

“So with Cleggy and Andrew out you’ve got three players.

“Obviously we have to decide who starts.”