O'Driscoll's high hopes of return despite fears over career
DESPITE facing up to six months on the sidelines, Brian O'Driscoll insists he has "huge positivity" about his chances of returning to rugby after surgery.
Fears regarding the future of the Ireland captain's career grew yesterday after it was revealed that he will have an operation on a trapped nerve or 'stinger' next week.
However, while O'Driscoll accepts that he might not feature for Leinster this season, he is confident he will return to rugby.
"(The surgeon) has given me a likelihood, percentage wise, of what my chances are of getting back," said O'Driscoll, who turns 33 in January.
"It's pretty realistic and a lot of it is about whether you are asymptomatic when you do eventually come back.
"I do have the rest of my life to think about as well, and if there was any chance of playing through discomfort again, then probably the smart move would be to call it a day, but that's thinking very far ahead.
"There's huge positivity to be taken from the results that have been seen on this injury before and I've seen plenty of guys come back from it, so there's no reason why not."
O'Driscoll revealed that he has struggled with the injury since the Six Nations and accepted that surgery was inevitable.
"Post-World Cup, I saw a few specialists and they were all saying the same thing. It was just a case of which surgery more than when.
"I needed it for quality of life post-rugby and that makes it a bit easier to get the surgery as well."
O'Driscoll refused to set a date for his comeback, but his contract runs until the end of the 2012-13 season, which means he could feature in next summer's three-game tour of New Zealand.