By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated July 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM EDT
Danny Feld/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

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McSteamy is checking out of Seattle Grace.

EW confirms a report that Eric Dane, who has played plastic surgeon Mark Sloan on the show since its second season, will leave Grey’s Anatomy during the upcoming ninth season. He will return for a number of episodes to close out his character’s arc.

“After much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end,” creator Shonda Rhimes told TVLine. “We’re a big family here at Grey‘s with a long history together and Eric will always remain an important part of our family.”

“I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run,” Dane said, in a statement. “It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force, such as Shonda Rhimes.”

At the end of the eighth season, Dane’s character was seen in duress after the big plane crash that claimed the life of Lexi (Chyler Leigh) and left him seriously injured. The finale also saw the departure of Kim Raver’s Teddy.

Read more:

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season finale: Was that the most intense hour of TV ever?

‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal’ ratings rise for finales

Episode Recaps

EW full coverage: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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