Demetri Catrakilis out for at least a month with throat bone fracture

Demetri Catrakilis is stretchered from the field during Harlequins' win over Gloucester. Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis is facing more than a month out of action after fracturing a bone in his throat against Gloucester in what club officials believe was a "freak" accident.

Catrakilis was making his first start for Quins after moving from Montpellier in the summer and lasted just 13 minutes before receiving what is believed to have been the point of a shoulder in his throat.

It fractured a small bone and stopped him from breathing for a short time before medics were able to give him oxygen on the pitch.

A hospital scan revealed the fracture and while he is making good progress, the 28-year-old will remain under observation this week as hospital staff continue to monitor his breathing, swallowing and voice box.

Surgery will not be needed but Quins expect the fracture to take more than four weeks to heal enough to allow him to return to action.

"Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis remains in hospital after sustaining a small fracture to a bone in his throat during the match against Gloucester Rugby on Saturday," the club said in a statement released Monday.

"The 28 year-old does not require surgery and Harlequins will provide a further update when available."

Catrakilis is one of three Quins outside halves to be injured this season and he started in the 28-17 win over Gloucester following Marcus Smith's head knock in the opening Premiership match against London Irish.

Smith was unable to train until the Friday before the Gloucester match due to HIA protocols but made a dramatic impact as the hosts recorded their first win of the season.

Smith, who is highly rated by England head coach Eddie Jones, will be favourite to start against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday with Tim Swiel, who injured his shoulder in preseason, also pressing for a start in the No. 10 position vacated by the retired Nick Evans.

It was always going to be difficult to replace Evans, Quins record points scorer who is now coaching the backs, but no one could have predicted the early season injury problems that have hampered Smith, Swiel and now Catrakilis.

Quins have a fourth option in James Lang, 22, who played six times last season having signed from Welsh club RGC in June, 2016.

Catrakilis came into the season desperate to prove he can lead the club to more honours. He said: "I want to help the club get into the top four of the Premiership and I wouldn't have moved to a club if they weren't capable of winning trophies.

"I have just come from a great team in Montpellier and this squad can finish in the top four and win cups."