O'Driscoll set for return
March 20, 2012
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Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll is set to make his return from injury for Leinster against the Ospreys in Friday night's RaboDirect Pro12 clash.
O'Driscoll has not played since the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to Wales on October 8, after an operation on his shoulder. He has now returned to full-contact training after coming through an intensive session last Friday.
"His reputation precedes him as a fast healer," Leinster coach Joe Schmidt told the Irish Times. "This is the very earliest we felt we'd have him back. The prognosis was he'd return a month or six weeks later but things have gone really well for him in his rehabilitation.
"For us, if he was to be in contention for some of the big games coming up, he'd want to get at least a bit of time under his belt this Friday. He's had a couple of hits on the shoulder. Not body on body but certainly body on hit-shield. He came through that no problem last Friday so he has had a weekend to recover from that."
However prop Mike Ross is unlikely to be fit for the clash. Ross came off during Ireland's defeat to England at Twickenham on Saturday and is said to have exacerbated a nerve problem in his shoulder.
"It was something that had been ongoing so once it worsened early in the game I think it made it pretty tough for him, particularly at scrummage time and any square-on collisions," Schmidt said.
"We've been told it is not something that is serious, it is not something he can't necessarily get over in a couple of weeks' time. A bit of rest and a bit of rehab. He got a pinch on a nerve. Inevitably then you get a little bit of pins and needles, you depower the shoulder and once you depower the shoulder it is pretty hard to power up and do your job."
Meanwhile All Blacks second-row Brad Thorn could feature for Leinster as they continue to gear up for their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues on April 7.
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