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Michael Phelps to return to competitive swimming this month

Michael Phelps to return to competitive swimming this month
Michael Phelps is set to compete at a swim meet this month in Arizona, his first competition since the 2012 Olympics. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

All of you who, in your office pool, had Michael Phelps returning to competition in April 2014 can smile today.

Phelps, a 22-time Olympic medalist, is scheduled to compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games at a swim meet April 24-26 in Mesa, Ariz.

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Phelps is entered in three events — the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

"I think he's just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes," Bob Bowman, the swimmer's longtime coach, told the Associated Press. "I wouldn't say it's a full-fledged comeback.

"He's gotten back into good shape since September. He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He's in enough shape to swim competitively."

If Phelps does well, it will stoke rumors that he might try to make the U.S. team for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"He's really doing this because he wants to — there's no outside pressure at all," Bowman said.

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