General Hospital's Maurice Benard (Sonny) and his new "son," Drew Garrett

Apparently it was not a gunshot wound that landed Michael Cornithos in a coma. It was a debilitating case of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome.

Following months of speculation, General Hospital has recast Michael Quartermaine Corinthos — and newcomer Drew Garrett has landed the plum gig, has learned exclusively.

Garrett succeeds Dylan Cash, who played Sonny and Carly's son through his formative years and last aired Dec. 29, 2008.

When Garrett makes his GH debut on April 24, Michael won't be out of the woods just yet. Rather, sources say the lad's emergence from his Claudia-induced coma won't happen until a bit later. (What's that smell? Ooh, it's a May sweeps plot twist!)

Garrett's previous credits include a guest-starring role on a Criminal Minds episode that aired this past December.