Paula Abdul

Nearly a year after her last appearance on American Idol, Paula Abdul may return.

A network source told TVGuide.com it's likely that the former judge will return for Idol's Season 9 finale to help bid farewell to Simon Cowell. Fox declined to comment on the report, which originated in People.

Simon Cowell "bored" with American Idol

Cowell is leaving the singing competition to focus on his upcoming series The X-Factor, which is scheduled to debut on Fox come fall 2011.

Despite their on-camera bickering over the years, reports earlier this year indicated that Cowell may recruit Abdul for his new series. Abdul left Idol in August after eight seasons.

The Season 9 finale of American Idol — featuring finalists Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze — airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

(Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams)