Banged-up Kisenosato joins summer tour

Kyodo

Kisenosato on Thursday joined sumo’s summer regional tour that began in late July, taking part in the promotional event that makes stops in various parts of Japan for the first time since being promoted to yokozuna in January.

Kisenosato, who had missed the July 30 start of the ongoing tour due to injury, was still not healed enough to engage in bouts but went through training, including push-ups and warm-up stomps, for about 40 minutes before conducting a ring-entering ceremony.

“I can now move my body,” the 31-year-old said of the reason he decided to participate in the tour, but added that his condition is far from perfect.

Thursday’s session was held in Ibaraki Prefecture, where Kisenosato is from, and local fans cheered him on.

The Tagonoura stable wrestler injured his upper left arm and chest muscles toward the end of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka in March, missing the entire spring regional tour the following month.

He started the Summer meet in May without fully recovering and sat out the last several days of the 15-day tourney, while he withdrew on the sixth day of the Nagoya tournament in July after injuring his left ankle.

The Yokozuna Deliberation Council is hoping that Kisenosato will return to the ring in good condition.

“Getting my body fit is the best thing,” he said. “I will just do what I can.”

The summer regional tour continues through Aug. 27, and the next Autumn tournament starts Sept. 10 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.