Asa returns; to skip Kyushu meet

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Troubled yokozuna Asashoryu returned to Japan on Wednesday after staying in Mongolia from Oct. 6 for treatment of his injured left elbow, and is expected to skip the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament starting Sunday.

His stable master Takasago hinted Wednesday that Asashoryu will sit out the Kyushu meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, saying, “He came back just today. You all know whether he can wrestle that soon.”

“It’s been very difficult for Asashoryu. We’ve pretty much made up our mind,” Takasago said.

Asashoryu pulled out midway through each of the last two tournaments. Speculation has since grown that the 22-time Emperor’s Cup winner would not return to the ring until the New Year meet, at which he is expected to put his career on the line.