Among the many injuries suffered by the Grey's Anatomy doctors in the Season 8 finale (Season 8, Episode 24, "Flight"), Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) hand injury may wind up having the most serious repercussions.

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If Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Mark (Eric Dane) both stay alive, they will presumably eventually be able to practice medicine again in the near future (though Mark will do so elsewhere). But Derek? His career might really be over ... forever.

“How do you remain effective and relevant when perhaps you may never operate again?” asks showrunner Shonda Rhimes, to TVLine. “Or if you are going to operate again, perhaps you want to be the same kind of surgeon you were again with the same skill.”

It’s hard to imagine Dr. Shepherd, brilliant and famed neurosurgeon, becoming obsolete. But come Season 9, we may have to get used to that possibility — as will he.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 will premiere on Thursday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Source: TVLine

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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