Brian O’Driscoll, the Irish rugby captain and Leinster centre, has been rule of the Six Nations, due to an ongoing shoulder injury and there are fears that his career may be over.
The rugby star is due to undergo surgery next week for a trapped nerve in his shoulder and is expected to be ruled out for up to six months.
O’Driscoll (32) has struggled with a shoulder problem throughout the World Cup and missed last Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Munster.
"The shoulder has become uncomfortable over the last eight months and has got progressively worse," said O'Driscoll.
"I need the operation for general life, not just from a rugby point of view."
He added: "I certainly see myself coming back from this and playing another season."
"I just couldn't go through another full season like this," he added.
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"The time came to get some opinions on it and all the surgeons I saw were singing from the same hymn sheet. That gave me confidence that it did need doing.
"I've felt it during collisions, whether I've been in control of them or not.
"It hasn't been dangerous, but you go down because your arm doesn't work which means you're not much good to your team."
In a statement on their club website, Leinster said: "It has been confirmed that Brian O'Driscoll will undergo surgery next week for a trapped nerve in his shoulder which is expected to rule the Ireland captain out for up to six months."
The loss of the Dublin man will be a huge loss for Leinster in their bid to retain their Heineken Cup.
O’Driscoll earned his first of 117 Ireland caps in 1999. Last month he revealed he plans to retire after the 2013 Lions tour to Australia.