After Katherine Heigl said that she wasn’t sure if her character, Dr. Izzie Stevens, would ever return to “Grey’s Anatomy,” James Pickens, Jr., who portrays Dr. Richard Webber on the show, revealed otherwise. According to Webber, Izzie Stevens will be present in the anniversary episode of the show but not in the way fans might expect.

In her interview before she joined USA Network’s “Suits,” Katherine Heigl said she wasn’t particularly keen on making a return appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy.” The actress left the show more than 10 years ago, shortly after she took home the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in the Emmys in 2007 for her work as Dr. Izzie Stevens. In 2015, “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Shonda Rhimes dismissed rumors that Izzie would reappear on the series, saying that she’s already done with the character’s story.

When Heigl joined “Suits,” she was asked about the possibility of returning to “Grey’s Anatomy,” and she revealed that she had not thought about the character in years. “I don’t know,” she said.

“I don’t know if I would or if I wouldn’t. I almost feel like that would almost be distracting again to, sort of, what they’ve done with that show in the seven years since I left … and what that’s become and what it is to the fans now,” she added.

But now Pickens has dropped the bomb. According to Pickens, Dr. Izzie Stevens will appear in the upcoming anniversary episode “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” but the character’s return will be more spiritual than literal. In a recent interview, Pickens revealed that Heigl, Sandra Oh and T.R. Knight will not actually return to the show for its anniversary episode, but they will all be there “spiritually.”

The upcoming episode, he said, will entail going down the memory lane and will feature characters who are similar to Heigl, Oh and Knight’s characters. “We’ll see some actors who come into the hospital after a horrific accident who remind us of Izzie and George and Cristina Yang and it’s so cool how they do it,” he said. “They were such integral parts of the success of the show and such amazing talents in their own rights, so we miss them very much,” he added.

Fans have yet to see how the tributes will play out in the anniversary episode, but one thing’s for sure. Dr. Izzie Stevens will be there in spirit. The anniversary episode will air on Nov. 9.

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