The 2009 British & Irish Lions skipper launched his comeback after back surgery with a 40 minute cameo appearance for Munster A against Leinster A last week. At the weekend, he stepped down to club level to turn out for Young Munster in the All Ireland League.
O'Connell has only played two games for Munster this season, both in Europe, way back in October. He is expected to figure in the squad for the PRO12 game against Connacht at Musgrave Park on Saturday and could have two weekends of action before the quarter-final at Twickenham Stoop.
"I felt very sluggish at the start, but in the second-half I got going. There were a lot of scrums and line-outs and those things really do test the back - it was great from that point of view," said O'Connell after the game
"I know Donnacha Ryan is carrying a few injuries, so he might need a bit of time off. Hopefully, I can get in there and get some game time.
"There are three weeks to go until the Harlequins match and it's possible to make it. If we were closer to that game, it's not something we'd be doing because you'd be draining the energy. But this is the time to do it and I'll have plenty of time to recover."
Despite securing 10 line-outs for Young Munster, O'Connell couldn't stop his side from falling to a 10-9 defeat to Cork Constitution.