DON RICKLES is facing an amputa­tion horror!

The legendary 87-year-old funnyman has a frightening flesh-eating disease, and experts told The ENQUIRER he may have to lose a limb to survive.

In a shocking disclosure in early December, Don’s handlers revealed that the King of Insults was being treated for a poten­tially deadly infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, in his leg.

“Don underwent three surgi­cal debridements – a removal of the infected tissue – and a skin graft, which forced him to stay off his feet for a while,” his rep said.

While the official line is that the condition was discovered quickly and treat­ed successfully, medical experts told The ENQUIRER there is a good chance the vi­cious disease will return – and doctors may have to amputate the limb to save his life.

Alabama-based infectious disease expert Dr. Donald H. Marks, who has not treated Rickles, told The ENQUIRER: “This is an insidious disease that may come back with a vengeance. Rickles is definitely at risk of losing a limb.”

And Dr. Anthony Youn, a plas­tic surgeon in Troy, Mich., who also has not examined the comic, said that “necrotizing fasciitis is quite possibly the worst infec­tion someone can get. It can kill within hours if not treated.”

Rickles hasn’t been the same since his son Larry died of re­spiratory failure at age 41 two years ago, according to a source, who adds that the only things that keep him going right now are the love of his wife of 48 years, Barbara, and his comedy shows.