O'Connell may undergo back operation

O'Connell faces race to be fit for Munster's final Heineken Cup group games and the start of the Six Nations

Paul O'Connell looks set to be sidelined until January at the earliest as he considers undergoing an operation on a niggling back injury.

O'Connell hasn't seen action since Munster's emphatic victory over Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup on 21 October and subsequently missed the November Internationals.

The second-row is now mulling going under the knife in an effort to deal with an injury that has flared up again. A decision on whether the operation will take place will be made this week.