Takanoiwa, the wrestler who was injured in a beating by former yokozuna Harumafuji last fall, took part in training Thursday and appeared ready to let fate determine his participation in the upcoming Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In his first public appearance since the scandal that led to fellow Mongolian Harumafuji's retirement surfaced in November, Takanoiwa did not comment on his chances of competing in the March 11-25 tournament at Edion Arena Osaka.

But the 28-year-old from Ulan Bator did say he has taken a step forward in his recovery from the assault and showed signs of optimism for his comeback to the raised ring when speaking with reporters outside his Takanohana stable in Kyoto.