NEW YORK (AP) — Dara Torres just can't stay away from swimming.

The 41-year-old, who won three silver medals at the Olympics in August, wouldn't commit to competing again when the Beijing Games ended. But Torres said Monday at USA Swimming's annual Golden Goggle Awards banquet that if she can stay healthy, she hopes to race at the world championships next summer.

Credit Mark Schubert, the U.S. team's coach and general manager. Torres recalled that he told her, "Why stop? You're still improving."

"He knows how to dangle the carrot," Torres said with a laugh.

She's not sure how long she'll keep competing.

"I don't want to be one of those athletes who's at the top of their game then falls fast," she said. "I have to be smart about it."

Torres underwent surgery on her thumb last week. She hurt it during her last Olympic race, and the injury turned out to be more serious than initially thought. The ligament had come off the bone, she said. Torres expected to get a new cast Friday that will allow her to train.