I've torn my labrum. These things do not mend themselves. That's why this hasn't been healing as quickly as anticipated. That explains the clicking.
I got a bit "teary" eyed as well when I heard this news. My imagination was running absolutely wild. The doctor tells me that it doesn't mean my swimming is over. I can still reasonably expect to race iron distance. I can still expect to swim fast. I don't think he'd tell me this if it were not true.
I advised the doctor that if he had a swear jar in his office...he'd be making bank! I didn't like what I was hearing. I expected it to be a negative MRI result.
The tear will NOT heal on it's own. Either PT will effectively strengthen all the muscles around my shoulder enough to keep it all together (fingers crossed) OR I will need surgery to reattach it to the bone and return to normal. Surgery has risks and a long recovery with a... sling. And I do NOT enjoy that!
The posterior labral tear is NOT common from what I've gathered and the location of the tear makes sense given the push ups. Most swimmers get a different kind of tear from overuse. This could explain why freestyle only causes clicking but not pain.
My previous wreck may have also caused some problems, but I do doubt that it was the direct cause. That was 2 years ago and I have had absolutely positively zero trouble swimming or being aero with my shoulder since that time. I was swimming better than ever before after my wreck and up until this happened. My body was just not ready for so much excessive strength training all at once with no preparation. hindsight, hindsight, hindsight! If only, if only.
The diagnosis of the muscle strains were correct as well, but those things heal up whereas what is left in the clicking/popping residual soreness is from the labral tear.
He says to swim, try to go aero, keep doing PT and see how the next 4-6 weeks go.
I am optimistic that I won't need surgery. Swimming now doesn't hurt it. I'm only doing a few hundred yards and slow efforts, but I think I can tighten and strengthen everything up.
Even if I DO need surgery, I'll come back stronger after the down time. I always do.