Charlotte – Michael Phelps’s second comeback meet will not include a chance to go against his biggest rival.

Ryan Lochte announced on Tuesday he is withdrawing from the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte because of continued problems with his surgically repaired left knee.

Lochte was injured in November during an encounter with an enthusiastic fan. He missed five months before returning to the pool for the Grand Prix season, beating Phelps in the 100m butterfly at Mesa, Arizona, in April.

Dr. Jason Batley of Team Elite, where Lochte has trained since moving to Charlotte in October, says it would be “counterproductive” to Lochte's recovery to compete while still experiencing pain.

Lochte calls the setback “disappointing” but plans to serve as a host during the meet and sign autographs. – Sapa-AP