Henson's Lions dream in tatters

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The Independent Online

Gavin Henson's hopes of touring South Africa with the British and Irish Lions later this year look to be in tatters after he damaged ligaments in his right ankle in a club match at the weekend.

The Wales centre, who was embroiled in controversy on the last Lions tour to New Zealand in 2005, was injured playing for Ospreys against Gloucester on Saturday and his club's physio said it was unlikely he would be able to play again until May.

The Lions squad is due to be named on April 21. They play 10 matches, including three tests against the world champion Springboks, from May 30 to July 4.

"We can confirm that Gavin has suffered damage to the ligaments on both the lateral and medial sides of his right ankle," Chris Towers told the club's website (www.ospreysrugby.com).

"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."

Henson made one test appearance on the Lions tour of New Zealand four years ago, missing out on the first test when coach Clive Woodward controversially failed to select him and the third through injury.

He later apologised for comments he made about some of his team mates in a book.

A failure to recover from injury also cost him his place in the Wales squad for the 2007 World Cup but he played all five tests in his country's 2008 Grand Slam season.

A calf injury ruled him out of Wales's opening Six Nations match this season but he recovered to play in the last three tests.

To add to his misery, Henson today received a caution from police over his behaviour on a night out with three other Wales players in Cardiff the day after their Six Nations victory over England.

Henson, Andy Powell, Rhys Thomas and Jonathan Thomas each admitted to "varying degrees of regrettable conduct", a statement from the WRU said at the time.

A police spokesman said today: "South Wales Police has investigated an allegation of assault at a premises in St Mary Street, Cardiff, on Sunday, February 15 at around 9pm.

"A 27-year-old male has been cautioned in relation to the incident".

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