Webb is going to have difficulty finding a home.
Webbs 800/1500 times last year shows that he is mended and is still a world class athlete, which under the circumstances is about all you could expect. However, making that leap back into the world-elite category is not going to be as automatic as some suspect. Webb's 1:43/3:30 came in his prime (age 25) and when he was at the top of his game. Webb right now is perhaps a 1:45/3:35 athlete and by all objective measures a 1 or 2 beyond his prime for a middle distance athlete. It Webbs gets down to 1:45/3:33 this year that would be a successful season.
The problem is, the world has changed over the last 3 years, athletes are back to running sub-1:43/3:30 again, which is faster than Webb ran when he was at his best. Even in the U.S., you have Lomong, Wheating and Manzano who on average are 3 years younger than Webb, they are getting faster and they are already where Webb is trying to get to. These guys are not only good athletes, but they are good racers as well; good luck trying wrestle away a WC team slot from either one of these guys.
The U.S. only has one legit 1:43x 800 runner in Nick, but we have about a half dozen young 20/21 800m runners who have run 1:45x and are projected to go 1:44 in 2011. Also, Lomong, Wheating and Manzano are primarily milers, but they are all capable of runnning 1:44x in the 800. Depending on the scheduling at the USATF Nationals, at least one, perhaps even 2 of these guys will look to double in the 800 to assure a spot on the WC team.
In the 5000 you have a possible mix of Ritz, Teg, Rupp, Lagat and Solinski; they are all very good and for the first time ever, they are are all healthy. Good luck finishing top 3 among that group.
In the 10000 you have perhaps the same guys mentioned above except Lagat and Teg, however, you don't know what event(s) Ritz, Rupp and Solinski will opt for. Throw Tim Nelson and Bobby Curtis in the mix as well. Also, if the rumors I am hearing is that Bob Cheseret is back in shape and that Chelanga's citizenship could be fast tracked; you have to add these names to the mix as possibilities.
There are a slew of NCAA athletes like Centro, Fernandez , E-Heath, Ulrey, Puskedra, Fleet, Acosta and Derrick who have already run fast and may be ready to take that next step to world class.
Even if Webb's successful comeback continues, there simply may not be a place for him.