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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ shocker: Isaiah Washington to return as Dr. Preston Burke

Burke is back in the house. According to a March 6 report by The Hollywood Reporter, “Grey’s Anatomy” original cast member Isaiah Washington will return to the hit ABC medical drama seven years after he was fired from the series.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Isaiah Washington poses with the 'Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series' award for his work on 'Grey's Anatomy' in the press room during the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on March 2, 2007 in L
Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Washington will guest star for a May episode of the show to help close out the storyline for Sandra Oh’s character, Cristina Yang. His character, Dr. Preston Burke, was last seen on the show’s third season finale, when he stood Yang up at the altar on their wedding day.

This is Oh’s 10th and final season on the long running series.

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes said in a statement: "It's important to me that Cristina's journey unfolds exactly as it should. Burke is vital to that journey -- he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang."

While the exact date of Washington’s return episode hasn’t been revealed, TV Line has confirmed that Oh’s character will have an interesting “sliding doors” concept in an upcoming episode, in which she imagines the different routes her life could take.

Washington was fired from “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2007, after an on-set argument in which he allegedly used a homophobic slur against co-star T.R. Knight. After the highly publicized incident, the actor publicly apologized and taped a PSA for GLAAD.

Washington later told Entertainment Weekly, “I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do. I came back under great duress and stress, and thought I was doing the job I was hired to do. I thought that was going to speak for my future at ‘Grey's,’ but apparently that wasn't the same vision that the network and studio had for me.”

“Grey's Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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