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Brian O'Driscoll Photo by: PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images

Sports digest: Rugby star Brian O’Driscoll determined to play in Heineken Cup final

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Brian O'Driscoll Photo by: PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images

Leinster's talisman Brian O’Driscoll is so determined to start Saturday’s Heineken Cup final just over a week after knee surgery that he has promised to play on one leg.

The Ireland captain expects to feature against Ulster despite keyhole surgery last Friday to repair damaged knee cartilage.

“In my head it was never an option not to be playing this weekend. You’d want to have a limb falling off really not to be able to play in the Heineken Cup final,” O’Driscoll told reporters.

“I always remain positive and concentrate on the best-case scenario. If you get down about yourself it doesn’t help the healing process. 

“Provided you can remain upbeat I think you give your body every chance to recover as soon as it possibly can. 

“I think I’m fortunate too that physically I do recover from injuries quicker than some. I think it’s a combination of trying to work hard on small things and make sure everything else is ticking over.” 

Experience of such injuries will stand to O’Driscoll ahead of Saturday’s final, with the center only expected to resume training 48 hours before the game.

“One thing about having a longish career is that you learn to deal with having knocks going into games,” said O’Driscoll. 

“As much as I mightn’t get to train fully until Thursday, I don’t think I’ll be far off 100% come Saturday so it doesn’t worry me greatly. 

“A lot of the prep work is done before the week of the final. A lot of stuff done off the pitch to make sure that you understand your role in all the plays. I can still do that this week and I’ll be out on the pitch watching sessions and jogging through things. 

“I wouldn’t envisage that we’ll be pulling out a dozen new plays I’m sure it’ll be just a variation on other things we’ve done through the course of the season.” 

Leinster center Eoin O’Malley is out for at least six months after rupturing the cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Celtic League semifinal win over Glasgow at the RDS on Saturday.

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