London Welsh's Gavin Henson sidelined for six weeks

London Welsh's Gavin Henson will miss the first six weeks of the Aviva Premiership season after suffering a minor fracture to his cheekbone.

The 30-year-old suffered the injury during London Welsh's pre-season friendly defeat against the Scarlets.

Henson, starting at fly-half, was tackled by Deacon Manu in the first minute of the game at Parc y Scarlets.

The Wales back played on but was replaced after 30 minutes and taken immediately for an X-ray.

"London Welsh can confirm that Gavin Henson suffered a minor fracture to his cheekbone during London Welsh's pre-season friendly with the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday," London Welsh said in a statement on the club's website.

"It is anticipated that Gavin will return to full contact training in six weeks."

The Exiles confirmed the signing of the former Ospreys, Saracens, Toulon and Cardiff Blues player in July.

"It was a late shoulder barge into his face. Gav tried to play on but it was advisable he went for an X-ray," said London Welsh coach Lyn Jones.

"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."

London Welsh face Leicester Tigers in their opening Premiership game on 2 September at their new Kassam Stadium home in Oxford.