Glasgow pair Peter Horne and Rory Hughes face lengthy injury absence
Glasgow have been rocked by the news backs Peter Horne and Rory Hughes face lengthy spells out injured - but coach Gregor Townsend admits he is relieved the news is not worse.
Utility man Horne and wing Hughes have both been informed they require surgery after being stretchered off during Warriors' narrow Guinness PRO12 defeat by Munster last Friday night.
Horne could be out for as long as four months with an ankle injury, while Hughes faces an eight-week lay-off with a knee problem.
But Townsend confessed he was worried the pair would be ruled out for longer.
He said: "It's a blow. We knew it was going to be disappointing news given the way the injuries were at the weekend.
"But they are actually not as bad as some of our worst fears.
"Peter has had a really serious ACL knee injury in the past but that is fine and Rory's is not as bad as we feared either.
"These are two of our hardest working players and we know they will work hard on their rehab to make sure they can come back as quickly as possible."
Horne - who featured as a replacement during all three of Scotland's three autumn Tests - is now likely to miss all of the Dark Blues' RBS 6 Nations campaign, although Townsend has refused to count him out of the later stages of the Championship.
He said: "Peter was involved in all three games for Scotland during November, covering at stand-off and at centre, and he's been excellent for us.
"It doesn't rule him out of the entire Six Nations and he will have a target to come back at some point during that period."
The injury set-back is the last thing Warriors need as they prepare to face Racing 92 in Saturday's Champions Cup clash in Paris, b ut Townsend is trying to remain upbeat.
He said: "It's a fact of life. We've got a big squad and have had to deal with injuries in the same positions this year. We've had four second rows out at one point.
"We've got two wingers currently out in Leonardo Sarto and Rory now.
"It's a blow as you want your best players playing in these big games. But we have a strong squad and it's an opportunity for someone else."