Michael Phelps will return to the pool later this month

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

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Michael Phelps could be taking his first step to an Olympic return. (Getty Images)

There were hints from Michael Phelps' long-time coach Bob Bowman that the most decorated Olympian in history was mulling a return to the pool. Well, according to a USA Swimming release, Phelps will do just that later this month.

According to the multiple outlets, Phelps is expected to compete in the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz., which runs from April 24-26.

Bowman, however, was careful to keep expectations low.

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

Phelps will compete in three events -- the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and the 100 butterfly -- but Bowman warned that the 22-time Olympic medalist was far from top shape.

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

"I think he's just really enjoying it. He enjoys the training and being physically fit. He just kind of wants to see where he's at. It's more really for fun. It's been nice for me to see him swim just for the joy of it really."

Phelps, who will turn 29 in June, has often said that he doesn't plan to swim into his 30s. However, this comeback certainly indicates that he's at least considering competing in the U.S. Championships later this year. Again, Bowman was noncommital.

"I wouldn't say it's 100 percent on the radar," Bowman said. "After Mesa, we're going to sit down and talk about it."

 
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