After finding out that Justin Chambers had already left Grey's Anatomy when the actor posted a statement last month, fans have been anxiously waiting for answers for how his character, Alex Karev, will leave the Grey's Anatomy universe. The hospital drama started giving the first real hints that something more than Karev helping his mom was going on during his sabbatical in Iowa in last week's episode, but it seems viewers will have to wait a bit longer to get a full understanding of what's going on.

"It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo," executive producer Krista Vernoff told Variety. "We're, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity."

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Karev's wife Jo (Camilla Luddington), went through a very traumatic experience last season when she found out that she was given up for adoption because her mother's pregnancy was the product of a sexual assault. The revelation lead to a depressive spiral that saw Jo check herself into Grey Sloan for in patient psychiatric care. The creative team behind Grey's are apparently looking to find a way to explain Karev's exit without putting Jo through that kind of emotional roller coaster again, but doing so will take time.

"Jo went through so much pain and so much grief just last season that I wanted to be careful," Vernoff explained. "And so it's a bit of a mystery [what's going on with Alex], so that we don't watch Jo in the same place that we watched her in last season. We did it as carefully as we could. But it takes a while to get there."

The bread crumbs are coming, everyone. We're just going to have to hold on tight until they turn into a full loaf.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

Justin Chambers, <em>Grey's Anatomy</em>Justin Chambers, Grey's Anatomy