Sumo

Hakuho in doubt for Kyushu basho after first post-surgery practice

Kyodo

Yokozuna Hakuho appears a long shot to take part in next month’s Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament after practicing Wednesday for the first time following knee surgery on Oct. 18.

The Mongolian wrestler had endoscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right knee and also underwent a procedure to clean out loose cartilage in his right ankle. He was unable to put full pressure on the knee Wednesday with just 11 days remaining until the start of the 15-day tourney in Fukuoka.

In September, Hakuho extended his record for career grand tournament championships to 41 with a perfect 15-0 record, but opted for surgery after the condition of his knee worsened.

On Wednesday, wearing a knee support and bandage on his ankle, Hakuho focused on moving smoothly on his right leg. He did not put any real pressure on the joint, however, saying, “I’d like to do that next week. The ankle hurt today.

“I now feel that the surgery was successful. But feeling good about it will be something that only comes when I compete in a grand tournament and get results.”