The 2005 Lion was hoping for a triumphant return as he targets a place in Wales' RBS 6Nations squad.
But the Strictly Come Dancing star was helpless as Sale put Saracens to the sword with a 28-22 victory.
Henson, playing in the unfamiliar outside-centre position, touched the ball just three times before being substituted after 50 minutes with Sarries trailing 28-3.
"Gavin didn't see a lot of the ball," said Saracens head coach Mark McCall. "They were on the front foot, they were in our half. He had a bit of defending to do.
"We were outmuscled and outfought and it's very hard to take. We are incredibly disappointed.
"But I'm not going to have a go at any one player. We have a brilliant group but this was a very bad day at the office."
Henson had not started a game of rugby since picking up ankle and Achilles injuries in March 2009.
He subsequently took an unpaid break from the game before ending that in October by signing for the Aviva Premiership out-fit. The former Osprey made his rugby return last week in Saracens Wembley triumph over London Wasps.
The Lion had previously insisted he thought it would only take a handful of games to get back up to speed and stake a claim for a Wales place. But Henson faces an uphill battle with the Six Nations getting closer and closer.