BRIAN O'DRISCOLL says he is feeling good after his shoulder operation and is convinced he has at least one "really big year" before he retires from rugby.
The 32-year-old had surgery to correct a long-standing shoulder problem just over two weeks ago and returned to the Leinster camp this week to begin his rehabilitation, which is expected to last six months.
"The shoulder is good, it's a little over two weeks since I was under the knife and I'm feeling pretty good, the movement is coming back, it's just going to be a slow process, so I have to have a bit of patience," said O'Driscoll.
"I was only in (hospital) for a fraction over 24 hours and it's just been a case of taking rest. I am not a great person to be sitting around. I was told to do nothing for two weeks after the operation which was Wednesday, but I snuck in on Monday to do a sneaky 'bike' to alleviate that bit of extra pressure I was feeling."
O'Driscoll says he is driven to return fitter and stronger than ever and is determined to have one "last hurrah" before retiring.
"I certainly feel I have got a really big year in me next year," O'Driscoll told Newstalk Radio.
"I have got the hunger and ambition to get really, really fit, really strong. I haven't done upper body weights for about three years because of various shoulder and neck issues, so I'll get back in the gym and get really powerful again and, with a bit of luck, have one last hurrah, a big year, and then know when to call it quits.
"People are talking about getting back and having one more go at the Lions, but the way Eoin (O'Malley) and Fergus (McFadden) are going, let's get back in the Leinster team first. I am acutely aware that I can't take anything for granted in rugby because I have seen how fickle it can be."