Katherine Heigl to Return to Grey's Anatomy, But For How Long?

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Izzie is back on Grey's Anatomy.

Whether her return is short-lived is another story.

After taking a three-month maternity leave to bond with her 15-month-old daughter Naleigh, whom she adopted in September with musician husband Josh Kelley, Katherine Heigl is due to return, finally, to the set of Grey’s Anatomy on March 1.

But two weeks later, the actress will be in Las Vegas to accept the ShoWest award for Female Star of the Year, a film honor previously won by Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.

Is that yet another sign that Heigl — who took a five-episode hiatus from Grey’s earlier this season to film the romantic comedy Life As We Know It - is ready to depart Grey’s?

“It wouldn’t be a shock,” says a source close to the show.

Has Izzie's absence left a void or has it been a non-issue this year?

By the time Grey’s Anatomy airs the finale of Season 6 in May, Heigl, who has occasionally expressed displeasure with the show, will have missed roughly half its 24-episode run.

Despite winning a supporting actress Emmy in 2007, her contract negotiation squabbles and even dissatisfaction with the show's writing have become public in recent years.

So is the actress, who has five movies in development and an action comedy, Killers, out in June, indeed winding down her stint as Dr. Isobel Stevens? Do you want her to?

Whatever happens, don’t expect an announcement before June, when the Grey's Anatomy cast typically learns about their contracts status for the upcoming fall season.

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

Meredith: You're me.
Amelia: What?
Meredith: You're me before Derek. I can be here for you. I can do this. I get you. I can be a twisted sister for you. Just tell me how do you want to play this?

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)