Scott Baldwin has revealed he almost lost his hand in September.
Baldwin, the Ospreys and Welsh hooker was bitten by a lion that required stitches and two subsequent operations.
The lion sunk its teeth into Baldwin’s hand whilst he was petting the animal at a zoo in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
The lion pounced without warning, according to Baldwin and it forced the Welsh international player to consult a plastic surgeon back in Wales upon his return home.
The 29-year old claimed that infection had set into his hand. Upon consultation, the infection had left Baldwin fearing amputation.
The Ospreys player said: "The infection was the major issue," as per The Sun.
"The next day it started tracking up my arm. The surgeon said there was a chance I could lose my hand.
"The bite went straight through the other side of the hand, but I was really lucky it didn't hit any tendons or ligaments.
"The surgeon said it was like winning the lottery.”
Baldwin added that, despite the huge risk and injury, “it was the best possible outcome considering I had been bitten by a lion."
The Ospreys had visited a zoo in Bloemfontein ahead of a Pro 14 clash against Cheetahs.
The footage of the bite went viral on social media and forced Baldwin into missing the game in South Africa.
He has since apologised to the club and their supporters following the incident and his absence.
Baldwin has now had the stitches removed and begins the recovery process but must wait for the wound to heal and the all-clear from doctors in Wales before he can return to training.
He is aiming for a return before the end of the year.
Baldwin is likely to be sidelined until the end of November at the earliest, until his hand is strong enough to play competitive rugby.
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