Ryan Lochte‘s return to competition following his freak Nov. 2 knee injury wasn’t quite a smashing success.
Lochte’s left knee hurt after he swam two events in Orlando on Feb. 15. The 11-time Olympic medalist only made it to the meet for the final day due to a snowstorm keeping him stranded in Charlotte.
He finished second in a 200m backstroke and seventh in a 100m freestyle, saying his knee was 80 percent at the time.
Lochte went against doctors’ suggestions in racing in Orlando about three and a half months after he reportedly tore his left MCL and sprained his ACL after a teenage girl ran to him, he caught her and they both fell on Nov. 2. His knee hit a curb, Lochte’s publicist said.
“I got back in the water faster that what was expected,” Lochte told the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal on Saturday. “The doctors still say that I should be more careful, and I said, ‘Ahh, I don’t want to listen to them, I want to get back in the water.’ It started feeling fine. Then when I raced in Orlando, I don’t know, something happened, something was wrong in my knee and it hurt, so I knew I pushed it too hard.”
Lochte told the newspaper he’s still rehabbing the knee and unable to swim breaststroke.
“Certain things I still can’t do, but I’m working at it,” Lochte said. “I don’t like losing, and I don’t like not being at swim meets, so hopefully I’ll get back into it. Right now, it’s getting stronger.”
He doesn’t expect to miss the next Grand Prix meet, though, eyeing the Mesa, Ariz., event from April 24-26.
The bigger meets are the U.S. Championships in Irvine, Calif., from Aug. 6-10 and the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, beginning Aug. 21.
The U.S. Championships are a qualifying meet for the Pan Pacific Championships and the 2015 World Championships.
Keep in mind that Lochte’s former rival, Michael Phelps, will be eligible to swim at the Mesa meet in April, based on what his coach, Bob Bowman, said of Phelps re-entering the drug-testing pool last year.
Here’s Rowdy Gaines interviewing Lochte at the Orlando Grand Prix last month: