My doctor thinks I have a labral tear. It may not be torn too badly since apparently it wasn't obvious on the MRI. I took three months off of swimming before seeing the doctor - I figured it would get better on its own, but it didn't.
I've done about 4 weeks of physical therapy and will do another two before seeing the doctor again. My range of motion and rotator cuff muscle strength have definitely improved, but the impingement pain and shoulder clicking during freestyle recovery motion is still there. My doctor suggested that after 6 weeks of physical therapy he'd have a better idea if surgery would be necessary. Two weeks to go...
In searching this and other forums, it seems that physical therapy doesn't do the trick for most swimmers with labral tears, and they end up in surgery. Or maybe those that choose surgery just like to post more about it?
If you've recovered from a labral tear without surgery, let me know! I'm willing to do many more months of physical therapy if I think I can avoid surgery!