VERSATILE back Ryan Mills faces up to a month on the sidelines to leave Worcester Warriors with limited options at fly-half.

Mills overcame hip and shoulder problems which had kept him out all summer to start in Warriors’ 24-19 loss at former club Gloucester last Friday.

But the 25-year-old has been hit by a further setback as director of rugby Gary Gold confirmed he had sustained a “reasonably significant tear” in his quad.

Gold said Mills was “pain-free”, but he has given a timeframe of four weeks before he is likely to return to action.

“Ryan has got a reasonably significant tear in his quad, but hopefully it won’t take too long to heel,” Gold said.

“He is pain free, but it doesn’t make sense in risking him playing with that injury.

“I think it will be four weeks (before Mills returns).”

With Tom Heathcote out with concussion after suffering his third blow to the head in less than 12 months, Jamie Shillcock and Sam Olver are in a two-way fight for the number 10 jersey.

Asked whether signing a fly-half as cover for Mills and Heathcote had become a priority at Warriors, Gold replied: “Potentially, but it depends how long Ryan is going to be out for.”

Worcester, who have lost their first four games of the season, face European champions Saracens on Friday (7.45pm).

“Obviously we have got the two young fellas in Jamie and Sam,” Gold said.

“You saw them have a couple of good performances in pre-season as well, so it is going to give us an opportunity for them to play against the European champions.

“As they say one man’s disappointment is another man’s opportunity, so it’s an exciting chance for them.”