Sarah Drew Open to 'Grey's Anatomy' Return

While Grey's Anatomy alum Sarah Drew isn't totally ruling out the idea of an eventual return to the long-running hospital drama, she is wary of it happening any time soon.

Drew said after her character April was written off the show in season 14's finale, living happily ever after with Matthew, she had to part with her in order to move on.

"I'll never say never because they are my family. I still love everyone over there. I love that community and I still have such an incredible space in my heart for everyone over there," Drew told Entertainment Tonight of an eventual return to Grey's. "But I really do feel like, because of how it went down, I really had to part ways with April, I just had to. There was no way for me to live in a space of possibility of her returning and also be healthy in my letting go of all of it, so I really have said goodbye to her."

During the season 14 finale, April was bid adieu when Matthew spontaneously popped the question and the two wed in an impromptu ceremony in front of Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), Sofia (Eva Ariel Binder) and Jackson (Jesse Williams), who was April's off-and-on love interest for years. The wedding marked a full circle moment for April after she struggled with love and experienced a crisis of faith during season 14.

And although Jackson did mention April's name in season 15 — before he pulled a disappearing act, that is — Drew thinks bringing back her character would be difficult.

"I think saying hello again would be hard," she added. "But again, I'll never say never."

But for now, she's put it out of her head. The 38-year-old actress told PEOPLE that she "hasn't been watching" the new episodes of Grey's.

"I haven't been watching," she explained. "You know, it's a little too painful to kind of go and watch your family move on without you."

"I wish everybody the best and I know they're having a wonderful time," she continued, admitting that she cried when she found out her character was being written off after nine years.

In August, she spoke candidly about the reason behind letting her go: "I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize because they couldn't service all of the characters effectively," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "They didn't want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story. Because there were so many series regulars, they needed to downsize and to find some characters that they felt like they could tie up their stories well."

While the exit was difficult, she concluded that it was for the best.

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"[Being let go] was painful when it happened, but, in retrospect, I think it would have been hard for me to walk away from that job," Drew confessed."I was on it for nine years. It feels right and it feels like a good time to move on to something else with all the great love in my heart that I have for everybody and respect and gratitude for what that experience was. Playing a character for nine years is a long haul."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.