"The surgeon said there was a chance I could lose my hand," said Scott Baldwin on Monday. The Ospreys hooker was talking about an incident last month which saw him hit the headlines.
While with the Ospreys in South Africa for a Pro14 game against the Cheetahs, Baldwin had visited a game park with his teammates. Baldwin had his hand bitten by a lion after sticking his hand through some bars to pat it on the head.
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy called his player 'pretty stupid' following the incident.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekley podcast, Baldwin said he contracted an infection from the bite. "The infection was the major issue. The next day it started tracking up my arm."
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, he said it was the best possible outcome considering I had been bitten by a lion.
After he initially suffered the bite, the Ospreys team doctor cleaned the wound. By the following day, it had become infected. He ended up going under the surgeon's knife twice.
Baldwin says he suspects stroking the female lion before the male lion may have riled the animal.
First of all we were told to stand a metre and a half away, and then within 20 seconds they were asking if we wanted to go in the enclosure with them.
We were stroking them for a while, and they were all fine, and then I think it was the fact I stroked the female first, I don't think the male liked it too much - that's just my theory.
I turned away to give one of the boys my phone to take a picture, and the lion thought, 'he's not looking now, I'll have a bite'.