BOD back early

Lions legend Brian O'Driscoll could return to action this weekend. [more]

BOD back early

Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll could return to action this weekend.

The triple Lions tourist has been sidelined since Ireland’s defeat to Wales at the quarter-final stages of the World Cup after having surgery to cure a shoulder and neck problem.

It was at first feared that O’Driscoll might not be able to play again until after the end of the domestic season, although that prognosis was swiftly rejected in favour of a possible comeback in early to mid April.

Next month’s knockout stages of the Heineken Cup next had been touted as a realistic target but the 33-year-old now looks like beating that goal by a full fortnight.

"Brian O'Driscoll is progressing well after stepping up his rehab in recent weeks and may be fit for selection this week," read a brief statement on the Leinster website.

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Leinster face the Ospreys in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the RDS this Friday, with O’Driscoll set to be involved in the matchday squad after missing his province’s first 25 games of the season.

2012 has been a frustrating year so far for O’Driscoll, who was absent for Ireland’s entire 6 Nations campaign as Declan Kidney’s men lost to Wales and England, drew with France and beat Italy and Scotland.

But news that he is on the brink of a return will be a major boost for Kidney and co ahead of their daunting three-Test series with the All Blacks in New Zealand this summer.

O’Driscoll has previously talked about his desire to go on a fourth Lions adventure in 2013 and a strong showing against the World Champions could propel him back towards the top of the reckoning for the trip to Australia.

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