Injury-plagued yokozuna Kisenosato, who has failed to start or complete nine of the past 10 tournaments, resumed training Monday for the first time since pulling out from last month’s Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
The first Japan-born wrestler in 19 years to be promoted to the rank of yokozuna practiced at his Tagonoura stable in Tokyo to prepare for the New Year tournament, where his career is likely on the line.
After the practice, which was closed to the public, the 32-year-old said he felt good about the session, adding that he needs to continue working out.
Kisenosato sat out the start of the winter regional tour which kicked off Sunday, and has yet to decide whether he will be able to join his fellow wrestlers.
At the previous meet in Kyushu, he became the first yokozuna in 87 years to post four straight opening losses at a 15-day tournament, triggering the yokozuna council to issue a notice stating its dissatisfaction with his performance.
After missing all or part of eight straight basho, Kisenosato finished with a 10-5 record at the September Grand Sumo Tournament to temporarily fend off calls for his retirement.