Bristol's Gavin Henson suffers further injury blow

Gavin Henson of Bristol reacts after picking up a knock during the Aviva Premiership match against Harlequins, September 3, 2016. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Gavin Henson is facing a massive blow after suffering a "serious shoulder injury" on his return to Aviva Premiership action for Bristol in their 31-13 defeat by Sale Sharks.

Henson, 34, was making his first appearance for the Premiership's basement side in their clash at Ashton Gate after a leg injury left him sidelined from September 3.

The former British and Irish Lion came off against the Sharks after only 12 minutes when he fell awkwardly on the point of his shoulder in a tackle.

Sale went on to crush Henson's side with tries from wings Paolo Odogwu and Byron McGuigan, full-back Mike Haley, replacement prop Eifion Lewis-Roberts and substitute Tom Curry.

Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson was doubly distraught after the match with both Henson's latest set-back and a poor display in a game they had targeted to win in their battle to avoid relegation back to the Championship.

Robinson said: "It is a serious shoulder injury which is a real shame. We really feel for him. It is a potential operation that is needed to the shoulder but we will find out more later."