has confirmed that Steve Burton
) will be returning to General Hospital later this spring.
Burton, who joined GH in 1991, has had a recently habit of coming and going. Burton first left the show in January 2000 to pursue primetime television and movie opportunities. Burton then returned for what was to have been a long-term gig in January 2001, but Burton was again forced to leave early when he landed a feature film deal.
This time around, though, Burton's return is said to be a confirmed long-term stint. Officially, however, the terms of the deal were not released.
Burton has been ready to sign on to return for at least a few weeks. An insider reports that the deal could not be finalized because several of ABC's lawyers were out-of-town and could not be reached to cross the T's and dot the I's.
According to a GH source, Burton's decision to return to GH has put on hold -- or even scrapped -- the decision to bring aboard a new character by the name of Aidan. Aidan was to have been a new love interest for Elizabeth, however, it is now widely assumed that Liz and Jason will become an item.
Burton will make his first return appearance in -- you guess it -- the May Sweeps period.