Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps Getty Images
Add Ryan Lochte to the growing list of people who think Michael Phelps will return to swimming. Just don't put Phelps himself on that list.
Phelps' American swimming rival was the latest to weigh in on the comeback rumor that started with a Fort Myers, Fla. report on Friday night.
Lochte was asked about Phelps' possible return while at a swim meet in Vancouver.
"I hope he comes back in. I think he will. I know he will. It' s just a matter of time and when. I know he will.
"I can' t say. I just have a feeling. I' ll just leave it at that. I have a feeling he' ll come back."
I've always figured Phelps would come back sometime before the 2016 Olympics but now that Ryan Lochte "thinks" and "knows" it will happen, I'm starting to have doubts. I've seen enough episodes of What Would Ryan Lochte Do? to know the general outcome every time Ryan Lochte has a thought.
But then you see that Rowdy Gaines, the NBC Olympic swimming analyst and one of the most knowledgable people in the sport, thinks Phelps will return too.
Via The Desert Sun:
Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medalist who now works for USA Swimming and as a broadcast analyst, maintains that it's more than an assumption that Phelps will indeed make a return to competitive swimming very soon.
"I always thought he should come back because he has the rest of his life to do whatever else he wants," said Gaines, who is in the desert this weekend as part of the Swim to Win 2013 campaign to promote drowning awareness. He also said there are things he knows that he prefers to keep off the record.
"I thought that a year ago and I never have changed my opinion. No way," he said.
Phelps has downplayed comeback rumors without fully denying them
. Swimming World speculates a return is planned and to "expect denials but don't discredit current reports."