The Ireland captain returned to Leinster training on Monday, but he still has a long way to go before playing as his rehabilitation from ankle ligament surgery continues.
While the more optimistic estimates could see the 33-year-old centre return in time for Leinster's desperate bid to make the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, the margins are fine and the pivotal Millennium Stadium meeting on February 2 may come too soon.
"I'm due to come back and play towards the end of January. I'm hoping to be back before that, but I don't know," he said.
"I could make it back for rounds five and six of the Heineken Cup, but I haven't been thinking about it. I'm not aiming at anything at the moment. I'm going day on day, session on session. The thing is, I've had surgery and it has to knit.
"Healing is ongoing and no matter how much work I do, I'm not in control of it. I just have to wait for it to take properly and for when I'm given the go-ahead that it is secure from the specialist."
"The first game is always important, it is all about building momentum through winning. Wales in Cardiff is a tough place to go," O'Driscoll admitted. "But the Six Nations is hard. You have to beat good teams in their back yard to win it."