TRENTON - Recuperating Gov Corzine walked down the stairs of the governor's mansion yesterday despite his broken leg, the state's acting governor said.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said Corzine called and they spoke for about 10 minutes yesterday morning. Codey, the Democratic Senate president, is filling in for Corzine as the governor recovers from critical injuries suffered in an April 12 car accident.

"He sounded absolutely great," Codey said. "His voice was fantastic."

It is uncertain when Corzine will resume his gubernatorial duties, but Codey said it might happen shortly.

"I think he'll make a decision within the next couple of days as to when he would like to come back," Codey said. "I would anticipate, based on our conversations, it would be relatively soon."

Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley said no date had been set for the Democrat's return to work.

"Gov. Corzine will make the decision to resume his duties in consultation with his doctors while listening to his body," Coley said.

Codey said Corzine told him he had been reading a 40-page report on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to charge drivers who enter congested areas in Manhattan, a plan likely to affect many New Jerseyans.

The acting governor said Corzine was not giving him daily instructions.

He described Corzine as "desirous" to come back, but not "itching to come back."

Corzine was injured when his state trooper-driven SUV, traveling 91 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h.-zone on the Garden State Parkway, was clipped by a pickup truck and slammed into a guardrail.

He broke a leg, collarbone, sternum and 11 ribs, among other injuries, and was in a Camden hospital for 18 days, largely in intensive care.

The governor was not wearing his seat belt, as is required by state law. On Tuesday, he voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating that law.

He left the hospital Monday and is undergoing rehabilitation at the governor's mansion in Princeton.