Grey's Anatomy: Could this Virgin River star be returning for season 18?

Could this Virgin River star be returning to Grey's Anatomy?

Martin Henderson starred as Nathan Riggs in the medical drama

Eve Crosbie

The first promo for Grey's Anatomy's upcoming season 18 has been released - and it hints at another major comeback.

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The 30-second teaser clip shared by the official Twitter account of the ABC medical drama promises "one hell of a return" as the doctors of Grey Sloan are thrown into crisis after a major car crash. Watch it below...

At one point in the trailer, an unknown man in need of medical attention can be seen on a stretcher. "Transport the patient to Grey Sloan on foot," a voice can be heard ordering as the crash causes a backlog of traffic. And the reactions from Meredith, Teddy and Owen when the patient arrives at the hospital suggest it may be a familiar face.

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WATCH: Check out the new Grey's Anatomy season 18 promo

As TV Line has speculated, it's possible that the man on the stretcher could be Virgin River's very own Martin Henderson, who played Nathan Riggs from season 12 to 14.

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It perhaps explains why Abigail Spencer, who portrays Dr Megan Hunt, will be making her return in the season premiere and can be seen rushing through the hospital in the clip.

Martin's character departed the series early on in season 14 when it was revealed that he and Megan had relocated to Malibu along with their adopted son Farouk.

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At the time, series creator Shonda Rhimes hinted that it was not the last time viewers would see Martin. She said in a statement: "I loved that we were able to give Riggs a happy ending worthy of his character and talent. As for Martin, this is not an ending for our relationship."

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Several returning and new stars have been announced for the upcoming season premiere, which will air on ABC on Thursday 30 September. The O.C.'s Peter Gallagher will join the cast as a new character named Dr Alan Hamilton, while Kate Walsh will be reprising her role of Dr Addison Forbes Montgomery.

Kate Burton, who stars as Meredith's mother, Ellis Grey, will also make multiple appearances in season 18. Viewers will remember that she suffered from Alzheimer's disease and died back in season three, so it seems that viewers can expect her scenes to be either flashbacks or dream sequences.

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