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Mike Tindall's life-threatening injury from his rugby days

Zara Tindall's husband was injured while playing rugby

mike tindall injury
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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Zara Tindall's husband Mike Tindall, 43, retired from rugby in 2014, but before he stepped down from the sport, he suffered some serious injuries - including one that could have killed him.

READ: Mike Tindall breaks silence after emotional appearance at Queen's state funeral

The former sportsman, who played for Bath and Gloucester during his career, was injured in a Six Nations match against Wales in 2008. A tackle left him with a misplaced rib then punctured his lung and tore a hole in his liver.

WATCH: Mia and Lena Tindall attend Queen's Windsor funeral

Following the ordeal, Mike was in intensive care for three nights and explained to The Daily Mail: "If the boot had struck me an inch or two higher or lower then I would just have cracked a couple of ribs.

READ: The time Queen 'danced around' with pride for granddaughter Zara Tindall

MORE: Mike Tindall comforts James, Viscount Severn in tender moment at Queen's funeral

"That's not very pleasant, and I would have been out of rugby for a few weeks, but I would have settled for that in light of what happened instead."

He shared that his opponent's boot hit his diaphragm and sternum, while the studs caught his liver.

mike tindall rugby© Photo: Getty Images

Mike Tindall played rugby for England

"At first, I thought I'd just done my ribs, albeit badly. My immediate thought was that at least a couple had been broken. But what really worried me was the fact that I was struggling desperately to breathe," Mike recalled.

SEE: Mike Tindall shares rare photos from family day out ahead of big change

"At the time I didn't gauge how serious a condition I was in," he said. "It turns out I had a big tear in my liver. It was more than an inch wide and about an inch deep.

mike tindall zara© Photo: Getty Images

Zara Tindall stayed by Mike's bedside as he recovered

"The biggest concern was my internal bleeding. I lost two pints of blood into my membrane and if it had leaked out much more and floated around in my stomach then I would have been in big trouble."

Mike eventually made a full recovery after several weeks of recovery, during which he supported his then-girlfriend Zara as she trained for an eventing competition in Portugal.

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