O’Driscoll facing up to six weeks on sidelines
Brian O'Driscoll is likely to be confirmed an absentee for Leinster's crucial Heineken Cup double-header against Clermont next month, although the 2009 champions were remaining tight-lipped about the Irish captain's health yesterday.
O'Driscoll suffered a suspected broken jaw during Sunday's 29-9 victory over Argentina at Lansdowne Road and had to be removed from the field under the instruction of the referee, Mark Lawrence. The Irish captain was unable to attend post-game media duties and departed immediately to have the injury X-rayed before a decision could be made regarding surgery.
Leinster confirmed that there will be an update delivered today following this medical assessment, with an absence of five or six weeks the most likely outcome, which would compound the confirmed absences of Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald from the Clermont clashes on December 12 and 18.
Munster captain Paul O'Connell may be included on the bench for his side's clash with Cardiff at Thomond Park this Saturday, ahead of a potential return to action in their Heineken Cup double-header against the Ospreys.
O'Connell made a successful comeback to playing action after eight months on the sidelines, playing 40 minutes for Young Munster against Shannon on Friday night.
Now coach Tony McGahan must decide whether to pitch him straight into Magners League fare or allow him play for Young Munster in their AIL game with Dolphin.
"My plan now is to play as many games as I can, be it with Young Munster, Munster 'A' or Munster, whatever I can, in order to improve my match fitness," O'Connell said. "Tony McGahan will decide where I go from here. It will probably be during the week when any decision is taken."
Meanwhile, Ireland moved up to fifth place in the IRB world rankings following Sunday's 29-9 victory over Argentina, just behind England. New Zealand will finish 2010 in first place.