Michael, who is due to return to our screens as mechanic Kevin Webster on Friday 21 March, will be seen in April episodes but writers are working to remove him again over his drug use to give him some time to get back on track.
The actor admitted he needed “professional help” following The Mirror’s revelations that he used cocaine ahead of his trial over child sex allegations, which he was cleared of.
The Mirror now reports that Coronation Street producers have now told him they want to see signs of improvement in the next 12 weeks or they could “cut the cord”.
ITV bosses will speak to him every week to see how he is.
Michael, 49, has vowed to seek help for alcoholism, but said his drug use was just a mistake at his lowest.
A pal said: “Michael knows he has to sort his life out and is determined to do that. Coronation Street bosses have been incredibly supportive.”
His family and new girlfriend Louise Gibbons, 38, have all rallied round to support the star.