It was announced back in May that Meloni will not reprise his role as the volatile detective for the crime drama's 13th season.
Leight told TV Line: "The reasons for his absence and the effect it has on the squad-room, and [former partner] Olivia (Mariska Hargitay), will be explored in the first several episodes."
NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt previously insisted that Stabler will not be killed off, adding that the character's disappearance will not be a "big shocking mystery".
Cold Case star Danny Pino and Chase actress Kelli Giddish will appear in the new season of SVU as a new pair of lead detectives.
Actress Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak) recently claimed that the show is "back on track" following the cast overhaul.
Law & Order: SVU will return to CBS on September 21 at 10/9c.
> BD Wong confirms Law & Order: SVU exit
Watch a promo for Law & Order: SVU's 12th season finale below: