Queen's granddaughter nearly loses her bloke

Zara Phillips was watching lover Mike Tindall play rugby for England against Wales in a Six Nations Match last week, when he was stretchered off after a tackle.

Mike thought he’d just fractured his rib but he was rushed to intensive care when it became clear the injury was far more serious – the misplaced rib had punctured a lung and torn a hole in his liver.

Zara and Mike’s family sat by his bedside for 3 days while doctors waited for the bleeding to stop.

‘I lost 2 pints of blood into my membrane,’ Mike, 29, tells The Mail On Sunday. ‘It had had leaked out more much and floated around in my stomach, then I would have been in big trouble.’

The 6ft 2in sportsman has now returned home to the cottage he shares with Zara, 26, in the grounds of Princess Anne’s estate in the Cotswolds but is still very weak.

‘Just about the only thing I can do is walk the dogs,’ says Mike. ‘You can’t take any risks with a lung and a liver.’