FUKUOKA – Yokozuna Takanohana has decided to sit out of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament starting Sunday in Fukuoka, as his knee injury has deteriorated, his stable master Futagoyama said Friday.
“I heard directly from Takanohana this morning that he will be sitting out of the tournament. I even thought that it would be difficult for him to take part in this meet. We haven’t talked about his immediate plans,” Futagoyama said.
The grand champion returned to the ring in September after missing the last seven tournaments because of the knee injury, and marked an impressive 12 wins behind yokozuna Musashimaru, who claimed his 12th Emperor’s Cup with a 13-2 record.
“I haven’t been able to sustain a good condition with my knee and I’ve decided on my own to sit out the tournament. I really want to apologize to everyone who has waited for me to make a comeback,” Takanohana said.
“The pain in the knee is not so severe but the knee is in no condition for me to wrestle. I’ll have it examined and try my best to get back in the ring as soon as possible,” he added.
Takanohana tore the ligaments in his right knee when he won his 22nd Emperor’s Cup in May 2001 and the rehabilitation process has taken longer than expected.