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Welsh player 'lucky' not to lose hand after SA lion bite

18 October 2017 - 05:34 By Reuters
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy talks about how Scott Baldwin was bitten by a Lion while in South Africa and missed the Guinness Pro14 game against the Toyota Cheetahs
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy talks about how Scott Baldwin was bitten by a Lion while in South Africa and missed the Guinness Pro14 game against the Toyota Cheetahs

Wales hooker Scott Baldwin said he feared losing his left hand to infection after being bitten by a lion in South Africa last month.

Ospreys coach Steve Tandy described Baldwin, 29, as "stupid" after the Welsh player petted the lion on a prematch visit to a game park ahead of a Pro14 match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

"The infection was the major issue," Baldwin told the BBC.

"The next day it started tracking up my arm. The surgeon said there was a chance I could lose my hand."

The hooker had two operations in South Africa before flying to Swansea to consult a plastic surgeon.

He said he was extremely fortunate not to have sustained a worse injury.

"The bite went straight through to the other side of the hand," Baldwin added.

"I was lucky it didn't cut any tendons or ligaments. The surgeon said it was like winning the lottery ... it was the best possible outcome considering I had been bitten by a lion."

With his stitches out, Baldwin hopes to return to training this week, but will make a final call after meeting his coach and medical teams. 

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