SOME experts are suggesting the upcoming summer season could be James Magnussen’s most important yet.
The Commonwealth Games are fast approaching and his recovery from shoulder surgery is now a fading memory.
It means the next 12 months will be the time for the Missile to start hitting targets again, starting in Port Macquarie on September 30.
Magnussen will be in town for Port Macquarie Swimming Club’s long-course qualifying meet.
He is expected to line up in the 100-metre freestyle against some of the best country swimmers in NSW.
The 2011 and 2013 world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medallist is looking forward to the challenge.
“I haven’t seen a lot of the younger swimmers up in that area for a while,” he said.
“It will be a good opportunity to get a feel for what talent is around and I’m always happy to give some advice or tips or help out wherever I can.
“Hopefully that provides some of those younger guys with a bit of an opportunity to race against me too.”
The Port Macquarie product said the opportunity to return home was too good to pass up.
“If you can get home and train wherever possible you cut out probably two hours a day travel time,” he said.
“It allows you a bit more time to recover in between training sessions and then you get a little bit of a better training effect.”
It will be a good opportunity to get a feel for what talent is around and I’m always happy to give some advice or tips or help out wherever I can.James Magnussen
He said he enjoyed getting away from the “hustle and bustle” of Sydney.
“It’s good to be able to fly under the radar for a few weeks,” he said.
“Whenever I go to Port Macquarie I call it going back home so no matter where I go, where I race or whatever I achieve, I always consider Port Macquarie to be my home.
“I always treasure any opportunity I get to get back and see everyone.”
The 26-year-old remains focused on returning to his best and doesn’t believe this season will form the crossroads’ moment in his career.
“Some people plan in four-year cycles and look towards Tokyo whereas I’m just planning it a year at a time at the moment,” he said.
“I don’t think that crossroads moment is necessarily now; it’ll be something that I will take stock of and think about after the Commonwealth Games.”
Magnussen said his shoulder is now almost back to 100 per cent and he was looking to get back into a racing routine.
“I’ve definitely put the whole shoulder saga behind me now,” he said.
I don’t think that crossroads moment is necessarily now; it’ll be something that I will take stock and think about after the Commonwealth Games.James Magnussen
“There are no excuses; I try not to ever make excuses and I know these young guys are snapping at my heels, if not right there next to me.
“It’s plenty of motivation for me to keep training hard and I’m really looking forward to mixing it with those guys this season.”