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'Deadliest Catch' Captain -- No More Tubes

2/6/2010 2:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Captain Phil Harris, the badass star of "Deadliest Catch," is making serious progress in his recovery from last week's stroke -- dude is finally breathing on his own.

According to a source close to the family, doctors are "extremely impressed" with Harris' progress.

Harris had been using breathing tubes to help circulate oxygen through his body since he went down while unloading crabs from the F/V Cornelia Marie -- but we're told as of Friday, the tubes have all been removed.

We're told Harris is also regaining feeling in the left side of his body -- which had gone numb after the stroke. His motor skills are also returning to normal. Perhaps the best sign -- Harris has been talking a lot lately ... even dropping a few of his trademark cuss bombs here and there.

We're told Harris and his family have been continuously charting a recovery course with doctors and he hopes to get home ASAP.

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