Washington to Return to Set This Week

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Embattled star Isaiah Washington is scheduled to return to the Grey's Anatomy set as early as Thursday for the first time since entering counseling after making a homophobic slur, People reports.

Washington to Return to Set This Week
Isaiah Washington, who plays Dr. Preston Burke, has not been on the set since January 23, the day before he issued a statement saying he would seek counseling "as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again."

He also missed picking up a trophy at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards that honored the Grey's Anatomy cast.

Best actress winner Chandra Wilson alluded to his absence, saying in her acceptance speech, "It's about the 10 cast members sitting over there and the other one in rehab."

A source familiar with the Grey's Anatomy production schedule tells People that Washington has confirmed he'll arrive for his next call time, now set for Thursday, although the show's production schedule changes.

Washington has been at the center of controversy since using a homophobic slur in reference to T.R. Knight, who is gay. After a firestorm of criticism, Washington issued an apology, then on January 23 announced he had entered counseling.

"I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and am committed to transforming my actions into positive results, personally and professionally," said the 43-year-old acto, who has also met with leaders of the gay community in an attempt to rectify his actions.

While we don't know anything for sure, this is a good indication that ABC believes - as many fans and columnists have opined - that Grey's Anatomy and its cast will survive the controversy and remain intact.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)