By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 15, 2003 01:00 PM

Ozzy Osbourne is apparently on the mend and again breathing without a ventilator after a bike accident on his English country estate more than a week ago, hospital officials said on Monday.

The Associated Press reports that MTV’s favorite father, 55, was breathing on his own and able to speak to his wife, Sharon, at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London, where he was taken immediately after the accident, the hospital said in a statement.

Osbourne fractured his left collarbone, eight ribs and a neck vertebra and had emergency surgery to restore the flow to a damaged blood vessel, reports said last week. The mishap occurred at his home in Buckinghamshire.

The Daily Mirror had quoted Sharon, 51, as saying that her husband stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating for a minute after the accident; he was resuscitated by a security guard. She pointed to driving on uneven ground as the cause of the accident, during which the bike landed on top of Ozzy.

“The doctors are hoping there hasn’t been any lasting damage, but until Ozzy can actually come round and get off the ventilator … then they will know,” she said last week. (In response to Simon Cowell having suggested on a British radio show that Ozzy had the accident to promote sales of his latest CD, Sharon told the Mirror: “If I could tar and feather him and handcuff him to a lamppost in Piccadilly, I would do it this instant.” Cowell issued an apology.)

There is also further cause for celebration among the Osbourne clan: Ozzy now has his first No. 1 single, the duet “Changes,” which he recorded with daughter Kelly, 19.

According to British press reports, the sales peak represents a new record for the longest time it has taken an artist to reach the top of the charts. Ozzy’s done it in 33 years — since his first hit with Black Sabbath, “Paranoid,” reached No. 4 in August 1970.