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Don’t hold your breath waiting for a Michael Phelps comeback

Michael Phelps really doesn’t sound uncertain about his Olympic future. (Peter Morgan/Associated Press)

Michael Phelps is in terrific shape. He’s lifting weights. He’s hitting the gym “at least” five or six times a week. That has to mean he’s gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, right?

Not so fast.

“I literally was just talking to a reporter a minute ago, and I was like, ‘I feel like I could do it, but I just have nothing that I want to come back and do,’ ” he told Matt Lauer on the “Today” show. “I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Never mind that he’s been working out and taking it “more seriously now.” Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history with 28 swimming medals, would be 35 in 2020 and probably could, indeed.

“[Working out] was like a handful of times a week and now, from my high point, I’ve probably lost 12 to 15 pounds. I wanted to get back into some kind of shape and then kind of start lifting,” he said. “For me, I think the biggest thing is just knowing that, for me to be the best husband, the best dad, the hardest worker, I need to work out. It’s something that I have to do at least five or six times a week.”

Training for his sixth Olympics would take time, and that’s a precious commodity for Phelps with his wife, Nicole, expecting their second child in March.

“I’m having so many amazing experiences, so many cool experiences, with my family,” he told the Associated Press in April, “I don’t see myself making a comeback. I have no desire right now to do it. I’m in the second chapter of my life. I have a lot of things I now want to accomplish. I’m realizing that more and more. This is a really cool opportunity for me to do some things I was not able to do when I was swimming.”

That includes testifying before Congress on the need for anti-doping measures, a “Save Water” initiative with Colgate and racing a shark.

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