Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho, who underwent surgery on his right ankle and right knee last month, will withdraw from the upcoming Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament, his stablemaster Miyagino said Thursday.
The 33-year-old grand champion lacked sufficient preparation for the Nov. 11-25 tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center after he went under the knife in mid-October, being limited to fundamental and basic movements such as shiko, according to his stable.
«He hasn’t recovered yet (from the knee surgery). He says it’s still painful,» Miyagino said.
«I’m sure he wanted to compete in the last Kyushu meet of the (current) Heisei era. It can’t be helped. He’s getting better,» he said.
It will be the 10th time in Hakuho’s career that he has missed part or all of a basho, and first since he pulled out on the fourth day of the 15-day Nagoya tourney in July. He has only gone the full distance in two of the six grand tournaments this year.
Hakuho had a procedure to remove bone fragments from his knee and fluid from his ankle joint shortly after he experienced pain and left the 24-day autumn regional tour on Oct. 12.
Should he miss the entire 15 days of the Kyushu tourney, he will finish the year with 31 wins, eight losses and 51 rest days.
His only overall victory this year came at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in September, when he secured his record-extending 41st championship with a perfect 15-0 record.
All — Kyodo News+