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To put it simply, Grey’s Anatomy won’t be the same without Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). In January, the 49-year-old actor announced his departure from the Shondaland series after 16 seasons. And reportedly, fans have already seen Chambers’ final moments as Alex in the 350th episode milestone. But without a proper sendoff before the midseason hiatus, will Alex’s exit be addressed in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 winter premiere? Here’s what we know so far.

Justin Chambers announces his departure from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16

Justin Chambers and Camilla Luddington as Alex and Jo on 'Grey's Anatomy'  - Season Fifteen
Justin Chambers and Camilla Luddington as Alex and Jo on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

On Jan. 10, Chambers released a statement about his departure from Grey’s Anatomy, thanking everyone from his immediate family to the cast and crew of the ABC series.

“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said, per Deadline. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”

He continued: “As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”

Then when speaking with Page Six, Chambers revealed it was difficult leaving the show. “Anywhere that you spend 15 years, it’s a big chunk of your life,” Chambers said. “Grey’s has been very supportive of me and I’m very grateful and it’s been a great ride.”

[Spoiler alert: rey’s Anatomy Season 16 midseason premiere.]

Will Alex Karev’s absence be discussed in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ midseason premiere?

Following the news, multiple outlets confirmed Chambers previously filmed his final Grey’s Anatomy episode — the 350th episode aired on Nov. 14. Alex last appeared to support Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) during her medical license hearing. He brought in previous patients and read heartfelt letters written by old co-workers. However, Alex did not show up in the midseason finale. Instead, he went home to take care of his mom in Iowa — offscreen.

Naturally, Grey’s Anatomy fans are now curious to see how the ABC drama writes Alex out of the story. Of course, most individuals are worried the team will kill the character off, given the seemingly sudden departure. And others are concerned Chambers’ exit won’t be addressed at all.

Nevertheless, TVLine confirmed the winter premiere on Jan. 23 will address Chambers’ absence. But fans might be a little disappointed, as the publication hinted it will not be “in a way that will bring closure to the matter.”

What will happen when ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 returns on Jan. 23?

No matter how the Grey’s Anatomy team addresses Chambers’ exit, fans can still expect a dramatic winter premiere. When a fan asked TVLine whether they should expect tears during the episode, the publication couldn’t reveal any major plot points — or if someone dies. But the crossover event with Station 19 will certainly pack a punch.

There will be a “major turning point for one couple and a big decision that’s sure to haunt the doctor who makes it.” Meanwhile, an emotional scene will emerge during the Station 19 Season 3 premiere. And it looks like Teddy (Kim Raver) will share a special moment with Ben (Jason George) at some point.

Then in an interview with People, Jesse Williams promised the Grey’s AnatomyStation 19 crossover will be “scary as hell and startling.”

And Station 19‘s Barrett Doss confirmed. “The season premiere, everybody is in it together,” she said. “The stakes are super high and they all have to use all of their skills to solve this problem.”

Read more: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: These Jo and Alex Theories Explain What Happens to the Karevs After Justin Chambers Leaves