Although many swimming fans thought that Olympian Michael Phelps had put away his competition swimwear for good, he may be heading back into the pool soon. In an interview with USA TODAY, Bob Bowman, Phelps' longtime coach, said that the swimmer could begin competing in meets over the next few months.
"He's definitely got himself in pretty good shape physically," Bowman told the source. "I think he feels pretty good about where he is. We'll just kind of look around at some upcoming meets and maybe let him swim an event or two and see how it goes."
According to Bowman, Phelps has been practicing five times a week at North Baltimore Athletic Club. Although he had not competed in any major event since the 2012 London Olympics, he rejoined the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's drug testing pool last year. The organization recently cleared him to compete.
It's unclear when Phelps will actually enter a major event, but it's possible that he'll compete in the 2014 U.S. Championships in Irvine, California. Bowman said that competing in this national meet will give Phelps good preparation for the 2015 World Championships and later the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The 28-year-old swimmer will probably compete in fewer events than he did earlier in his career. His coach said its likely that he'll start with a few 100-meter races like the butterfly and freestyle. He may add more after improving his fitness level.
At the London Summer Games, Phelps won a total of six medals, four of them gold. Over the course of his Olympic career, the swimming star has won 18 gold and 22 overall medals.