Leinster 17-15 Glasgow, RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final
Leinster play down O'Driscoll injury concerns
ESPN Staff
May 13, 2013
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll looks to force an opening, Leinster v Biarritz, Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final, RDS, Dublin, April 27, 2013
Leinster will be hoping that Brian O'Driscoll is passed fit for his side's Challenge Cup final clash on Friday night © PA Photos

Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has played down the significance of a back injury suffered by centre Brian O'Driscoll during their RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final victory over Glasgow on Saturday.

The Irish side stayed on course for a league and Amlin Challenge Cup double with a narrow 17-15 victory over their Scottish rivals at the RDS but it came at a cost with O'Driscoll limping out of the action after just 13 minutes.

His enforced withdrawal immediately cast doubt on his fitness for Leinster's euro showdown with Stade Francais on Friday night, their PRO12 final date with Ulster the following week and the British & Irish Lions having been included in Warren Gatland's squad for the tour to Australia last month.

But Schmidt was not overly concerned following the game. "Brian just tightened right up and couldn't really stretch out," he told the Irish Times. "He was keen to continue but really, it just wasn't an option.

"Against the guys they've got, if you're trying to catch hold of Hogg, Maitland or DTH van der Merwe - I won't name their whole backline but they're a handful. I wouldn't be overly concerned and I'm normally concerned about most things, so hopefully it's a good sign."

O'Driscoll's centre partner Gordon D'Arcy appears to be a greater concern after hobbling off with a calf injury. "Gordon cramped up pretty badly," said Schmidt. "They think it's possible there's a tear there but we're not going to know until he's been examined. So we'll have a look and find out within the next 48 hours."

Hooker Richardt Strauss and winger Fergus McFadden also picked up knee and shin injuries and will be monitored over the coming days as will flanker Sean O'Brien who was a late withdrawal from the Glasgow game with a calf strain.

"To be honest I don't know if we'll be doing a lot in the front half of the week, we have six guys who are off to the Lions, to London, for the whole of Monday, so our training will be restricted probably to Tuesday and Wednesday," said Schmidt.

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