It's hard to envision just how close to death Ric Flair was in 2017 ... until you see the photo of the WWE legend while he was recovering in the hospital.
Nature Boy just posted a pic taken right around the time he woke up from his medically induced coma back in August. He looks extremely frail as he tries to walk with the help of a wheelchair.
The good news ... Flair also posted a "NOW" pic -- in which he's bulked up and crushing a stationary bike!