Blue star Duncan James says he might never get the feeling back in his legs following his back injury.
The singer and actor's debut in Hollyoaks was postponed after he was rushed back to hospital suffering complications in June following emergency surgery for a back injury.
He told the Sunday Mirror: "Doctors told me I could have spent the rest of my life in a wheelchair - or died.
"The feeling in my leg may take years to come back - and it may never return."
Duncan, 38, had immediate surgery on the day he woke up to find his left leg was numb.
But he later started to suffer from crippling headaches, and his back wound opened.
He was rushed into more surgery and praised the hospital staff for being the "only reason I can walk today".
Duncan will make his debut as Ryan this Thursday on the Channel 4 soap and has been using a stick between scenes.
"I've been trying hard to hide the issue. There has been a lot of leaning on walls and using props for support," he said.