The 30-year-old Australian has cited his short preparation time as the reason for his failed comeback last year and is confident he could still swim at the elite level.
“I still have a life in the pool,” Thorpe told the BBC.
But Australian coach Leigh Nugent has poured cold water on the return, admitting it would be “a big ask” for the Thorpedo.
“Ian is such an enigmatic character and a brilliant athlete, but if you really haven’t got that gut burning desire to do it well then maybe you have to look at other things,” Nugent told the BBC.
Thorpe admitted taking a “ego bashing” after focusing on the 100m and 200m events as a sprinter and Nugent believes the 10-time Commonwealth champion needs to return to his previous guise as a middle-distance specialist.
“His physiology suits the 200-400m area and to try and break into the sprint area is pretty tough for him,” explained Nugent.