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.
He has a long-standing injury to nerves in his neck and shoulder.
Speaking to reporters O'Driscoll said he will not play again until at least the start of May - ruling him out of the entire European Cup and Six Nations seasons.
O'Driscoll hasn't played a single minute for the province this season.
The Ireland captain would hope for a comeback in the team's mid-year tour to the Southern Hemisphere, when are scheduled to tackle World Cup champions New Zealand.
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