Thorpe said, "I never thought I would be swimming in a competitive way again but I am glad that I am," and added "I have spent four years away from the pool and I needed those four years."
The Aussie nicknamed 'Thorpedo' is a 11 times world champion and his Olympic exploits is stuff of the legends. At the 2000 and 2004 Games he won five gold, three silver and a bronze medal.
Thorpe said his participation in an individual swimming event in London depends on his qualification at Australia's Olympic trials in early 2012. He also asked his countrymen to take into consideration the long lay-off he has had and be realistic in their expectations from him.
He said, "If I had an individual swim as well, I would take it," and added "but it still is baby steps ... just because I've had extraordinary results before, doesn't mean I will instantly be able to have them again.
Thorpe in his heydays was the best middle distance free-styler of all time. He was never beaten in the 400 metres and only once over 200.