O'Connell may not play again this year
Paul O'Connell may not play for Toulon this season.
The operation to repair his stripped off hamstring is a difficult one from which to estimate a return-to-play.
"It's very approximate. It's kind of between four and eight months. You just don't know," he revealed.
"The surgeon was very happy with how the surgery went. He doesn't see there being any problems, but I think I've had a lot of injuries that haven't really gone like that."
The 36 year-old could end up playing for just one of his two years at the French giants.
That would come as unpleasant news to their flamboyant owner Mourad Boudjellal, who likes to see real bang for his buck.
"It's naive to think that it's going to be plain sailing," he said.
"I'm just going to follow the protocols religiously as I would have always done and, hopefully, that can get me in a place to get back playing before the end of the season."
The former Ireland captain ruled out the possibility of playing for The British & Irish Lions against New Zealand in the summer of 2017.