WSJ: Steve Jobs "on track" to return to Apple : Ben Patterson : Yahoo! Tech

Nearly six months after stepping down as Apple's CEO for an extended medical leave, Steve Jobs—who was "one real sick guy" during his absence, according to a source—is on the mend, and looks set to return to work this month, the Wall Street Journal reports.Citing a series of anonymous sources, the Journal says that Jobs "appears on track to return from medical leave this month." Some are even speculating that he might take the stage during Monday's WWDC keynote, possibly with a new iPhone in hand.

Sightings of Jobs, who announced he was stepping down in January due to a "hormone imbalance," have been few and far between. Last month, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he'd spoken to Jobs and that he sounded "healthy" and "energetic," but added that he didn't ask Jobs specifically about his condition.

One source who'd been regularly briefed on Jobs' health told the Journal that Jobs was "fundamentally ... starving to death over a nine-month period" because he "couldn't digest protein." However, while Jobs was "one real sick guy" at one point, he "took corrective action" and "is coming along," the source said in the Journal story.

So, will we see Jobs—hopefully no longer as gaunt as he looked last year—at the Apple keynote Monday? Industry observers seem divided on that question, although another Journal source claims that Apple is "trying to coordinate Mr. Jobs' return with a product launch of public event."

Personally, I think that the launch of a new iPhone—arguably Jobs' crowning achievement at Apple, at least since his triumphant return to Cupertino in 1997—would be the ideal time for the iconic, black-turtleneck-and-jeans-wearing CEO to return to the spotlight.

Then again, Apple might want to show that it can launch a splashy new iPhone without Jobs.

Indeed, after all the concern about whether Apple could thrive without its famous founder, the company has actually done just fine, successfully launching a refreshed line of iMacs, along with a tiny, headline-grabbing iPod Shuffle. Meanwhile, the unveiling of iPhone Software 3.0 went off without a hitch, and as the Journal notes, Apple's stock is up 68 percent since Jobs went on leave.

So, what do you think: Will the "One More Thing" on Monday be Mr. Steve Jobs himself?