Wendy Williams 'Won't Be Returning' to Her Talk Show for the 'Rest of This Season': Source

"Whether Wendy can return in the fall will depend on how her healing goes over the summer," a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE

Wendy Williams' continued absence from The Wendy Williams Show will remain for the "rest of" season 13, a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE.

"Wendy won't be returning to the show for the rest of this season. Her healing is going slower than everyone had hoped. She continues to deal with a number of medical issues, including Graves' disease, and she and her team are taking it one day at a time," the source says.

"But reports of a stroke, drugs or addiction issues or a dementia diagnosis are all false. Whether Wendy can return in the fall will depend on how her healing goes over the summer. Her health is the most important thing," the source adds.

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A rep for The Wendy Williams Show did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Sherri Shepherd will be named as the show's "permanent guest host." When Shepherd, 54, first hosted in November 2021 ratings soared to the highest it's been all season. The actress has guest-hosted multiple times since.

"Sherri is thrilled to be invited back to guest host the Wendy Williams Show the week of February 21st. No comment on these rumors," a rep for Shepherd told PEOPLE.

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams. Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Ahead of her eponymous show's 13th season premiere, Williams' breakthrough COVID-19 case and her ongoing health issues tied to her Graves' disease delayed its initial return to Oct. 4.

The premiere episode was delayed once more to Oct. 18 despite Williams, 57, having recovered from COVID-19. She still continued to face other health issues, however.

"Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis," the show said in a statement at the time. "She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' Disease and her thyroid condition."

The show's statement concluded, "It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties."

In her absence, Leah Remini stepped into guest host the show's premiere week. Other stars have continued to take over guest-hosting duties on a rotating basis, including Shepherd, Michael Rapaport, Whitney Cummings and Jerry Springer.

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There was another brief delay in early January amid rising COVID-19 cases, resulting in the post-holidays return moving from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10. Ahead of the February episodes, Shepherd, Rapaport, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Bevy Smith and Terrence J were tapped to guest host for the month.

The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays (check local listings).

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