"It's a good feeling being able to see the forest for the trees," said O'Brien (pictured), as the Blues prepare for two make-or-break clashes with Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup next month.
"All things going well, I hope to make either the Glasgow game (November 23) or the Zebre game (December 1) in the RDS the following week".
The first date is more likely. The Tullow Tank is on the brink of his first game of the season after an arduous rehabilitation process from corrective hip cartilage surgery in June.
Fitzgerald is scheduled to make his return from a neck injury for what will also be his first impact.
Certainly, Leinster coach Joe Schmidt and Ireland equivalent Declan Kidney will be glad to see their faces back in the fold as club and country continue the search for top form this season.