Ryan Lochte said "it's just a matter of time and when" Michael Phelps returns to the pool for the Olympics.
Speaking at a swim meet in Vancouver, Lochte said he knows his American rival will compete in the 2016 Rio Games.
"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," Lochte said, according to China's News Agency Xinhua. "I can't say. I just have a feeling. I'll just leave it at that."
An NBC television affiliate in Fort Myers, Fla. reported last week that Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, will return to swimming and is looking to compete in the Rio Games.
Phelps downplayed that report on Twitter.
Why do I keep getting texts about coming back? Do ppl really believe everything they hear or read? There are ... m.tmi.me/VVJFR
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) May 18, 2013
(H/T to NBC OlympicTalk)