12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
O'Driscoll and company can expect to be mobbed when they touch down on New Zealand soil tomorrow morning (01.00am Irish time) - just eight days before their tour opener against Bay of Plenty.
Following two days of acclimatising and the definite viewing of Saturday's All-Black-dominated Super 12 final, Sir Clive Woodward's squad will settle into a proper training pattern.
Last Monday saw the Lions, with just four days of training behind them, draw 25-25 with an under-strength Argentina, but O'Driscoll, Ireland's first tour skipper since Ciaran Fitzgerald (1983), was not concerned by the result.
"There was the realisation against Argentina that we had only been together for four days of training, so we always knew things weren't going to be perfect," said the 26-year-old.
"There were some guys in the team who were a little disappointed with their displays but there will be further chances to show the selectors what they can do. Argentina was just one match in 12."
A proud leader of what some New Zealand commentators have already dubbed "Granddad's Army", due to the number of thirty-somethings in the Lions travelling party, O'Driscoll is certain to line out against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua on Saturday, June 4.
The Leinster centre cannot wait for the start of his second Lions experience.
"There has been so much waiting for the last month and a half. After a while you just want to get on the plane and it's then that the realisation will hit home that we're actually going out there as Lions.
"Everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks will be nothing compared to what's ahead of us when we touch down in Auckland. There is a huge level of excitement running throughout the squad."
Whether Gavin Henson partners O'Driscoll in midfield at Test-time is debatable, but the Welsh centre has already commanded much attention for his newly red dyed hair-do.
"My hair matches the kit. It's important to look the part," insisted the 23-year-old Osprey.