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Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 13:57 UK

Henson considering rugby future

Henson injury

Henson pulls up with an ankle injury

Gavin Henson is considering his rugby future in the wake of his latest injury nightmare that has virtually ruined his Lions tour hopes this summer.

The Wales centre, 27, admits he would be a "liability" for the Lions tour to South Africa after being ruled out for up eight weeks with an ankle injury.

Asked if he questions his own future, Henson admitted to BBC Sport: "Those thoughts run through my head.

"When I get knocked out with an injury, it is soul-destroying. Is it worth it?"

Henson has suffered an injury-ravaged season and missed the autumn series because of an Achilles problem then missed the start of Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam defence with a calf injury.

And double Grand-Slam winner Henson's injury curse continued on Saturday as he damaged ligaments in his right ankle in the Ospreys' 17-0 EDF Energy Cup semi-final loss to Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena.

Gavin Henson
Everyone sees the press I get every time I get injured, it is tough for me and my family - it is hard to take

Wales and Ospreys centre Gavin Henson

Lions coach Ian McGeechan names his party to tour world champions South Africa on April 21 but Henson is out until early May - so he will play no competitive rugby between now and the Lions tour being announced

"It is a complete nightmare again, I can't believe my luck," admitted Henson in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport.

"I'm pretty down and depressed about it at the moment, maybe I'm cursed."

It also emerged on Wednesday that Henson had been cautioned by police investigating an assault during a night out with three Wales team-mates.

All four had already been rebuked by the Welsh Rugby Union after an incident in February

The police caution was not raised in his interview with Scrum V's Phil Steele but the news would have been unlikely to have helped the Ospreys star's mood over his latest injury.

"The injury will probably rule me out of the Lions tour, to be honest. It'll be a pretty brave decision to take me now as I'm probably a bit of a liability with the way I am with my injures, this season is probably a miss now.

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"It is another difficult year, I've had an up and down last four years with injuries and I haven't been consistent at all - it has been tough.

"Then when I play in games the fitness isn't there because I haven't had a good run of games. There are more tough times ahead again."

Henson, who made one Test appearance for the Lions in New Zealand four years ago, was hailed by former Wales captain Mark Taylor as "potentially the best inside centre in the world" during the Six Nations.

But Henson continues to suffer injury problems and admits: "It is hard to come back every time I'm injured.

"Everyone sees the press I get every time I get injured, it is tough for me and my family - it is hard to take.

"I still dream about good games but they are few and far between. I have probably started about eight games this season and the same last year and the year before that.

"If all I am enjoying is playing then there is not much enjoyment then is it?

"It is pretty tough off the field, rugby has gone so professional you start to lose enjoyment side of it."

Henson will also join flanker Jonathan Thomas, lock Ian Evans, prop Duncan Jones and Scottish wing Nikki Walker on the Ospreys injury-list for their crunch Heineken Cup quarter-final with champions Munster on 12 April, while full-back Lee Byrne is also a doubt.

"Gavin has suffered damage to the ligaments on both the lateral and medial sides of his right ankle," confirmed Ospreys physio 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."

Wales Ian Gough, meanwhile, will be fit for their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Munster

With Henson out and Gough doubtful the Ospreys could be seriously under-strength if for the crunch showdown at Thomond Park.

Gough left the field just 26 minutes into their EDF Energy Cup defeat, while Henson departed two minutes before half-time.

On Gough's injury Towers confirmed: "Ian Gough suffered a haematoma in his hip region.

"Although the injury is low in severity, it is quite limiting in the short term. However, he will make a full recovery in time to face Munster in the Heineken Cup."



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see also
Henson cautioned after night out
01 Apr 09 |  Wales
Lions fears for injured star trio
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Ospreys display comes under fire
30 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 17-0 Ospreys
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Ospreys hit by Byrne injury blow
25 Mar 09 |  Ospreys
Henson's pub behaviour questioned
17 Feb 09 |  Wales
Second child puts Henson on hold
12 Dec 08 |  Rugby Union
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2008/9
19 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh


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