London Welsh suffer Henson blow
August 26, 2012
Gavin Henson will sit out the opening weeks of the season © Getty Images
Gavin Henson will miss the opening six weeks of the Aviva Premiership season after fracturing a cheekbone during London Welsh's pre-season friendly with the Scarlets on Saturday.
The former Wales international was taken to hospital and given X-rays following a tackle by Deacon Manu in the first minute in the 23-17 loss at Parc y Scarlets. Henson played on until the 33rd minute but had to be replaced.
The club had hoped the injury was not as bad as first feared and would be available for London Welsh's historic first match in the Aviva Premiership against Leicester Tigers on September 2. However, further scans on Sunday revealed a minor fracture to a cheekbone and the club said it would be a further six weeks before he is back in full contact training.
Henson will also miss key Premiership fixtures against Harlequins, Exeter, Sale, Gloucester and Saracens with the away clash at London Wasps at the end of October as a potential return to action for the player, who London Welsh hope to be a talisman in their bid for Premiership survival.
London head coach Lyn Jones had earlier said: "We're hoping for the best, but if it's the worst he's not the first player to get injured and we'll just have to be patient and deal with it.
"These are things you've got to deal with in rugby. You've got to deal with thunderbolts all the time. No player wants to get injured in a pre-season friendly because it's hugely frustrating because of all the hard work that's been done leading up to the start of the season."
Referee James Jones saw no reason to take action following the incident but London Welsh managing director John Taylor intends to review the incident. "We're quite upset with what happened and it certainly wasn't what Gavin needed," he said. "I haven't seen the video yet and don't want to say too much. We will have a look at it at the beginning of the week and speak to the Scarlets if necessary. We will deal with it internally between the two clubs."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal