Heineken Cup
O'Driscoll shrugs off injury scare
ESPN Staff
January 14, 2013
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll grimaces as he receives treatment, Leinster v Scarlets, Heineken Cup, RDS, Dublin, Ireland, January 12, 2013
Brian O'Driscoll grimaces as he receives treatment for the injury at the RDS © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Brian O'Driscoll
Tournaments/Tours: Heineken Cup
Teams: Ireland | Leinster

Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has played down fears that centre Brian O'Driscoll picked up a fresh injury during his side's Heineken Cup victory over Scarlets on Saturday.

O'Driscoll only recently returned from a three-month injury lay-off following surgery on an ankle injury and there was widespread concern the Ireland captain had suffered a similar injury during his side's 33-14 victory at the RDS that kept their European title defence alive.

But Schmidt was quick to reassure Leinster and Ireland fans that the 33-year-old was confident of facing Exeter in his side's final pool stage outing this weekend where a bonus point win is required if they are to have any chance of progressing to the last eight. "It was his other ankle, that's his good ankle. He has just assured me that it's fine. But he did that last time so you don't know," Schmidt told the Irish Times.

"What I can I tell you is he's one of the most mentally tough players that I've ever had anything to do with and it doesn't have to be fine for him to play. He's tough and experienced and knows his own body and what he can push through.

"A lot of guys when you've done an ankle a lot of times, it only takes five or six minutes, that ligament inevitably gets loose because you've strained it a number of times, you feel a discomfort but not for a long time. I'm sure you've heard the phrase about walking it off or jogging it off and you know he felt he was running it off and it was getting better with every minute he stayed on the pitch."

But is Schmidt confident his veteran centre will be fit for the Sandy Park clash? "Look, I can only say he's not worried about himself," said the coach. "I worry about everyone all the time. I suppose that's my job."

The news will be also be welcomed by Ireland coach Declan Kidney who will name his Six Nations squad on Wednesday when O'Driscoll is expected to be confirmed as his skipper once again.

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