Phelps returns to racing today

Associated Press

Michael Phelps will hit the water today at the U.S. short-course national championships, testing his surgically repaired right wrist for the first time in competition since he hurt himself getting into a car in October.

"I've been doing a lot of turns full-speed on it. I've been able to get a lot of pressure put on it to see how it's all going to handle," said Phelps, of Rodgers Forge, who broke a small bone in his wrist last month. "It feels fine. The first few times, it hurt a little bit because I hadn't done those motions before in a while."

The championships, contested in yards instead of Olympic meters, are another chance for Phelps to fine-tune his starts, turns and strokes in the year's last major meet before the Olympic year begins.

Phelps will resume his pursuit of Mark Spitz's record of seven golds in an Olympics. He plans to race three individual events and possibly a couple of relays this week, his first competition since the nationals in August.

"If I come in and swim well, then OK," he said. "If I don't, it's going to get me motivated. If I don't compete well, it makes me pretty upset."

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