Ireland Rugby
Surgery scare for O'Driscoll
ESPNscrum Staff
November 6, 2011
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll touches down, Ireland v Italy, Rugby World Cup, Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, October 2, 2011
Brian O'Driscoll played through the pain during the World Cup © Getty Images

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll could require surgery on his injured shoulder.

The Leinster centre is still recovering from a 'stinger' suffered during the World Cup in New Zealand. He had been expected to return for Leinster's Heineken Cup clash with Montpellier next weekend.

However he could now miss that game and Leinster coach Joe Schmidt admits the 32-year-old may require an operation which would result in a lengthy recovery period.

"That's one of the things we're trying to decipher at the moment and that's the reason he's gone to some more specialists and had some more scans, so that we can either find a solution to the stinger that kind of comes and goes," said Schmidt.

"He's a fairly precious commodity, BOD, so we want to make sure we don't play him in the condition that's going to affect him in the future and we look after him as best we can. Because if we can get him right, he's a fairly handy fellah to have."

O'Driscoll, who recently revealed his desire to continue playing at the highest level for as long as possible, has been suffering from shoulder problems for several months and it is reported that he was receiving cortisone injections in order to keep him playing through to the World Cup.

Leinster are eager to have their talisman back in the team but Schmidt insists the player's long-term fitness is of primary concern.

"He's copped a few shots where he hasn't really been ready for the contact, you know?" said Schmidt. "There was one in the Magners final last year which gave him a bit of whiplash and that didn't help either. Every time we've kind of got him right, something's happened -- whether it's been a full impact or it's been an unexpected impact, it's caused discomfort. As I said, we just want to get him back to 100 per cent."

Meanwhile fellow Ireland back Keith Earls will have a scan on his injured knee on Monday. The Munster back suffered the injury during Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to Leinster.

Munster fear he could have suffered ligament damage which would rule him out for a significant period, including Munster's Heineken Cup games in November.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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