Ken Watanabe due to return to ‘The King and I’ on March 17

NEW YORK (AP) – Ken Watanabe will return to his royal robes on Broadway in “The King and I” starting March 17 after he recovers from stomach cancer treatment.

Lincoln Center Theater said Thursday that the Tony- and Oscar-nominated actor will take over the role from Hoon Lee.

Watanabe, the 56-year-old Japanese actor, made his American stage debut last year, earning a Tony nod opposite Kelli O’Hara in the revival of “The King and I.”

He was due to return to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical March 1 but had to postpone after undergoing endoscopic surgery for stomach cancer in Japan.

The actor wrote on his Twitter account that the early stage cancer was found in a medical checkup. He wrote in Japanese, “I hate to worry you, but please wait.”