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Having come on as a replacement for Luke Fitzgerald in the Scarlets clash, O’Driscoll, just returned from an ankle problem, picked up another injury.
After revealing the injury is on the opposite ankle to last time however Schmidt painted something of a rosy picture about the legendary Irish centre’s fitness.
With Ireland due to take on Wales on February 2 at the Millennium Stadium Schmidt told the Irish Times: “It was his other ankle, that’s his good ankle.
“He has just assured me that it’s fine but he did that last time so . . . you know. . . I tell you what though, he’s one of the most mentally tough players I’ve ever had anything to do with and it doesn’t have to be fine for him to play.
“He’s tough. He’s really experienced, he knows his own body, he knows what he can push through; last time he tried to push through it and he came straight off. This time he felt it was getting better every time he took a step on it, that’s a really good sign for an ankle.
“A lot of guys when you’ve done an ankle a lot of times, it only takes five or six minutes, that ligament inevitably gets loose because you’ve strained it a number of times, you feel a discomfort but not for a long time. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase about walking it off or jogging it off and you know he felt he was running it off and it was getting better with every minute he stayed on the pitch.
“Look, I can only say he’s not worried about himself.
“I worry about everyone all the time. I suppose that’s my job.”