(File photo) Anice Kruger comforts her daughter, burn survivor Isabella "Pippie" Kruger, who is recovering from a skin transplant operation. Photo: AP

Johannesburg - A surgeon says a three-year-old South African girl who received a cloned skin transplant is likely to discharged from the hospital next week.

Dr Ridwan Mia, the surgeon who attached Isabella “Pippie” Kruger's skin, said on Tuesday that the toddler is now breathing on her own and “doing very well”.

Isabella suffered third-degree burns on more than 80 percent of her body following an accident at a family braai.

Earlier this month, doctors attached the skin, which was cloned in Boston using mouse cells as a scaffold.

Isabella has now started to eat baby food and even chicken after months of using feeding tubes.

Dr Mia says she will need daily therapy in the months to come, including physiotherapy to strengthen her muscles. - Sapa-AP