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Fourth-Place Medal

Michael Phelps injured his foot playing golf

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Michael Phelps in Barcelona, with boot. (AP)

Clearly, Michael Phelps is getting older. The latest evidence: he hurt his foot playing golf.

In Barcelona over the weekend at the world championships, Phelps was sporting a big black boot at the dedication of the mural you see above. He indicated that he'd worsened an existing stress fracture while playing golf, perhaps while stepping into a hole.

"He hit his foot somehow in the house and then he did that tournament when he walked about 20 miles and got a little stress fracture," Phelps' coach Bob Bowman told the AP.

"Golf really is a dangerous sport," Phelps laughed afterward. "The good thing is, I only have to pack one shoe."

Phelps is the world's greatest Olympians, with 22 career medals. There's speculation that he'll return for a swan song in 2016 at Rio. Bowman doesn't believe this will have any impact on that whatsoever, and according to Golf Channel laughed at the idea: "I think he'll be fine. He can wait that out. I don't think that's imminent."

Phelps spent a few weeks recently playing with famed golf coach Hank Haney as part of the Golf Channel reality show "The Haney Project."

Over the weekend, he spoke to NBC Sports about the possibility of returning to the pool. This marks the first year that Phelps hasn't been on the U.S. national team since 2000, and clearly he misses the competition and camaraderie:

"I still haven't done anything (to train)," Phelps said. "I could have definitely hopped up (to join the national team), but this is their time."

When asked if he had totally closed the door, Phelps dodged: "Well, golf is definitely out." There you go.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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