June International Tours

Henson’s Lions tour chances look bleak


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Gavin Henson’s chances of participating in the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa appear slim after he damaged ankle ligaments playing for his club and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

The Wales center was hurt playing for the Ospreys in their whitewashing against Gloucester on Saturday and scans revealed the extent of the injury.

“Following the MRI scan and specialist consultation on Monday, we can confirm that Gavin has suffered damage to the ligaments on both the lateral and medial sides of his right ankle,” said Ospreys physiotherapist Chris Towers.

“Although the injury is not so severe that he will require surgery, he will require a spell of at least two weeks in a walking cast before he can start to gradually get back to normal activity.

“At this stage, in light of the nature and extent of the ligament damage, we are predicting a four to six week spell on the sidelines before Gavin will be ready for action again.”

The news will be a blow to British and Irish Lions head coach Ian McGeechan who is due to name his squad for the tour on April the 21st.

Henson’s powerful running and ability to find gaps in opponents’ defenses helped Wales win last season’s Six Nations Grand Slam and he was a possibility to make the Lions squad if fit.

But Henson’s fitness has been a problem for more than a year and he played only two of Wales’ nine games since last year’s Slam.

The Lions head for South Africa towards the end of May and will play three tests.

Sapa-AP Rugbyweek.com

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