NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Country singer George Jones was removed from a ventilator Tuesday and breathing on his own as he continued his remarkable recovery from a near-fatal accident.

``I think that he's demonstrated very amply that he's made of tough stuff,'' Dr. Virginia Eddy said Tuesday.

``On the one hand, he's very sick, he's extremely fragile. But on the other hand, he's still doing better than I would have expected at this point.''

He likely will remain hospitalized for two or three more weeks, Eddy said.

Jones, 67, has been in critical condition since crashing his sport-utility vehicle Saturday. He was talking on a cellular phone when he slammed into a bridge a mile from his home.

Jones' liver was deeply lacerated, a lung collapsed and he was near death when he was brought to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Eddy said she has lost younger patients with similar injuries, but Jones is ``obviously a fighter.''

Jones has recorded such classics as ``He Stopped Loving Her Today'' and ``A Good Year for the Roses.''