Thursday, 13 December 2007

If it ain't broke...

In banging on about the Gavin Henson drunk-on-a-train incident I somehow missed the announcement by the Ospreys that Henson has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand, an injury which occurred (according to the Ospreys) in the EDF Energy Cup tie against Harlequins - the very game from which Henson was returning by train when he and his mates got into trouble.

Not only is the injury alleged to have occurred during the Quins game, but the Opsreys have gone to extraordinary lengths to explain exactly how and when it happened.

“Gavin suffered the injury at around the 63rd-64th minute of Sunday’s game after driving into a ruck,” said Ospreys’ doctor Rhydian Lewis.

“From reviewing the match video, it appears an opposition boot accidentally came into contact with his hand and Gavin can clearly be seen holding his left hand as he gets back to his feet.”

Henson was nevertheless able to complete the game, score the match winning try with no obvious signs of discomfort and, despite apparently being diagnosed with a suspected fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his left hand by the Ospreys medical team, was allowed to make his own way back to Wales with an appointment set for him to undergo an x-ray the following day.

Hmmm...so your star player is apparently hurt in the latter stages of a game, possibly with a semi-serious injury, and yet not only is he allowed to play on, when the game's over it's decided that an x-ray can wait until the following morning?

The Ospreys story is, frankly, implausible and is not helped by the fact that BBC footage of the incident in which Henson's injury is supposed to have happened has been described as "inconclusive" or that Henson was witnessed later that evening playing drinking games on a train which involved him punching his mates rather hard.

I know this all sounds as if I've got it in for Gavin Henson. I haven't. I admit I'm not a big fan of his pseudo-celebrity lifestyle but I do think he's an immensely talented rugby player.

The Ospreys may think that the statements they have made on the matter serve to support their player. I happen to think that if, in fact, this all turns out to be a smokescreen for what really happened, then they are ultimately letting Henson down by not confronting the issue properly.

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