Brian O'Driscoll has shrugged off the shoulder problem he suffered during Leinster's Heineken Cup final win over Leicester - vowing not to allow it to thwart his British and Irish Lions hopes.
The Ireland captain sparked fears over his fitness when he went down clutching his right shoulder during the second half of today’s 19-16 victory at Murrayfield.
He was quickly back on his feet but continued to look in some discomfort for the remainder of the game.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit with a bit of nerve trouble on that side,” said O’Driscoll, whose 2005 Lions tour was infamously ended when he was tackled onto the same shoulder by New Zealand skipper Tana Umaga.
“It’ll just take a little bit of mind endurance over the summer but hopefully it will be okay.”
The loss of star centre O’Driscoll would be a huge blow for the Lions for this summer’s tour to South Africa.
But his optimistic prognosis was backed up by Leinster head coach Michael Cheika, who said: “He knows how to manage himself well and he knew that he just needed a few minutes on the sideline there.
“There was no way he was coming off in that game, I can assure you of that.
“Even if I tried, I think I probably could have got the Ronaldo treatment if he came off!”
O’Driscoll, who has spent a decade trying to get his hands on the Heineken Cup was ecstatic at today’s victory.
“It’s pretty special. We’ve waited a long time for it,” said the 30-year-old, whose drop-goal opened the scoring today.
“I think this is my 10th Heineken Cup and to finally win it, it feels pretty incredible.
“It’s a culmination of years and years of work and disappointment along the way but it’s all worthwhile now, having put in all that hard graft.”
Despite being the better side, Leinster were forced to come from 16-9 down early in the second half.
A try from Jamie Heaslip and a nerveless 40-metre penalty from Johnny Sexton completed the turnaround.
“We were down to 14 men when we conceded all our points,” O’Driscoll said.
“We knew that we’d have to be at our best, both from a defensive and an attacking point of view.
“We scored a great try and got back into the game and got back to 16 all.
“And Johnno had the balls to kick over the winning goal and we hung in for the last 10 minutes and showed what our whole team ethos is about.”