Eriq La Salle

Dr. Benton's returning to ER, but you won't get to see him.

Eriq La Salle, who played the County General surgeon from 1994-2002, will direct an upcoming episode of the longtime medical drama, Variety reports.

The episode will air in February, which is when the NBC Thursday night staple is set to wrap up for good.

"In the years since Eriq left ER he's established himself as a very accomplished director," David Zabel, executive producer, said. "We're all thrilled to have him contributing a different talent to a show that he's already contributed so much to."

After departing to focus on screenwriting and directing, La Salle has racked up a string of television directing credits, including two on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

As of now, the actor is not yet slated to scrub up for another go-around as Dr. Benton - he last made a cameo at Dr. Greene's funeral in 2002 - unlike perpetual returner Noah Wyle, as Dr. Carter, and Anthony Edwards, who will bring Dr. Greene back to life in a flashback episode airing next week.

Are you excited for La Salle to direct, or would you rather see him on screen?