Jesse L. Martin will be taking a leave of absence from The Flash.
Over the first few episodes of The Flash season 5, Joe West has almost exclusively been seen sitting, except for a brief stint leaning against a doorframe in “News Flash.” He has mostly been seen at home — he was even kidnapped by Cicada in his own living room — as he and Cecile have been adjusting to having a new baby.
And now we know why.
According to TVLine, Martin suffered a back injury during summer hiatus. And despite attempts to accommodate his injury over these first few episodes, it seems the injury was serious enough that he will need to take a medical leave of absence to recover.
“Jesse Martin is taking a medical leave of absence from The Flash. We wish him a full and speedy recovery and look forward to his return as Detective Joe West,” the studio told EW.
As for now, we don’t know how long Martin will be away from the series, but his absence will be addressed on screen.
Joe West is a stabilizing influence on the big personalities on Team Flash and provides strong emotional support for his loved ones, so he will be missed as Martin recovers.
The Flash season 5 airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.