Leinster v Ulster, Heineken Cup Final, Twickenham, May 19
Leinster sweat on O'Driscoll injury
May 14, 2012
Leinster will be hoping that talismanic centre Brian O'Driscoll is passed fit for Saturday's showdown with Ulster © Getty Images
Leinster face an anxious wait to find out if talismanic centre Brian O'Driscoll will be fit for Saturday's Heineken Cup final showdown with Ulster at Twickenham.
O'Driscoll missed his side's RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final victory over Glasgow on Saturday night due to a twisted knee and he remains under an injury cloud ahead of their quest for back-to-back European titles.
The injury will be monitored by medical staff with the hope that the 33-year-old will be able to return to training in the latter part of the week. "The injury is good. I'm feeling good. It was just a niggle I had last week," O'Driscoll told reporters on Monday. "The week that's in it, I'm just looking forward to getting back. I probably won't train fully until Thursday. Listen, you pull out all the stops when it's Heineken Cup final week."
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is also confident that O'Driscoll will rise to the occasion. "We are just going to give him a rest for the next couple of days and hopefully he will be up fully and running by Thursday," explained Schmidt. "He is one of the most resilient men I have met and one of the most competitive people I know. He will want to be there."
Adding to Leinster's woes is a knee injury suffered by centre Eoin Malley against Glasgow. "Unfortunately, the news is pretty bad," revealed forwards coach Jonno Gibbes. "He has done his right cruciate and he is looking at a long-term rehab of about six months. We really feel for him."
There was more promising news on fullback Rob Kearney who also missed the Glasgow victory with a back injury. "He is in pretty good shape and we would be confident that he will be alright for Saturday," said Schmidt.
O'Driscoll's usual midfield partner Gordon D'Arcy is another concern after he was forced out of the Glasgow clash with an eye injury following a clash with team-mate Brad Thorn's knee but an ankle injury to prop Cian Healy is unlikely to rules him out.
"Gordon (D'Arcy) just got split open; he's pretty good, got a couple of stitches in there," said Gibbes. "He's in good form. Healy is fine, little bit of a sore ankle but nothing too major. We may have been able to push Rob to play on the weekend but it was just a bit of caution with him and he should be fine this week."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success