November 13, 2003 11:49 AM

Five weeks after he stepped off the airwaves to undergo treatment for his self-admitted addiction to prescription painkillers, conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh will return to the radio on Monday, reports Reuters.

Limbaugh’s brother, David, announced Rush’s return during an on-air interview with Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge, who was filling in as guest host on Wednesday.

“He’s obviously champing at the bit to get back to doing what he does best, and that’s getting back on the air,” David Limbaugh said. “And as you can imagine, there are one or two … things that he probably will have on his mind.”

Limbaugh, 52, who in the past has called for automatic jail sentences for drug users, told his audience on Oct. 10 that he has suffered for years from an addiction to prescription painkillers and was taking time off to check himself into a drug treatment center for 30 days.

He also acknowledged that he was the subject of a criminal investigation but provided no further details, nor did he reveal the precise medication to which he was addicted.

According to published reports, however, Limbaugh reputedly was being investigated for the prescription drug OxyContin. He said he began taking painkillers for chronic back pain several years ago.

Limbaugh’s confession came less than two weeks after he resigned as a TV football commentator on ESPN’s “NFL Sunday Countdown” following remarks he made suggesting that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated by the media because he is black.

On Wednesday, David Limbaugh told the radio audience that his brother had “successfully completed the first phase of his treatment,” though “he’s very realistic about the long road ahead of him and he’s committed to staying the course.”

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