Ozzy Osbourne "could have died" if he didn't undergo emergency surgery to treat a staph infection.
The 69-year-old rocker scrapped four concerts on his No More Tours 2 trek after he was hospitalised with a hang nail that sparked a major infection. Opening up for the first time about the health issue, Ozzy told Rolling Stone magazine that he was diagnosed with a potentially deadly staph infection after going to the emergency room when his thumb swelled to the "size of a f**king lightbulb".
"I didn't feel sick, so I was cracking jokes," the Black Sabbath star recalled. "The doctor said, 'I don't know if you realise, Mr. Osbourne, this is a very serious problem you have.' (Wife) Sharon said, 'Would you stop f**king making jokes?' So I said, 'Well, it's my hand'.
"They're all extremely, deadly serious about it. I judge it based on the expression and the body language of the doctor. If he comes in with a really solemn face, I go, 'Oh, OK. My time to go is up.'"
The doctor told Ozzy it may have been something as simple as shaking someone's hand that led to him getting the infection. However, once diagnosed, the medics had to work quickly to treat it.
"Even with the numbing stuff, it was agony. It wasn't pus, but it was the stage after pus, when it gets in the blood and goes in your body and f**king kills you," he said. "It may sound f**ked up what I'm saying to you, but he was really concerned about checking my blood."
Following the operation, Ozzy spent a week in hospital, where he was treated with antibiotics before being discharged. Now his health is back on track, the musician has rescheduled the October dates he axed for next year (19), but said he remains well aware he had a lucky escape from what could have been a much more serious situation.
"I'm going to make those shows up next year," he promised, before adding: "It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead."