Ozeki Takakeisho withdrew from the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday after exacerbating a neck injury that will require around two weeks to heal.
Takakeisho suffered the setback during his second-day victory over No. 1 maegashira Atamifuji on Monday at the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, according to his stablemaster Hitachiyama.
"I want to give him a good rest as his body is all that matters," Hitachiyama said regarding Takakeisho, who has been behind schedule in his conditioning due to concern over his neck issue.
"It must be quite painful as he made the request himself. He had wrestled (only) two or three days before the tournament," Hitachiyama said.
Takakeisho was thrust out in his first defeat on Tuesday by No. 1 rank-and-filer Wakamotoharu and lost his fourth-day bout by default against komusubi Ura, ending the basho with a 2-2 record.
He is missing a tournament for the 11th time and will be a demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki for the eighth time at the spring meet in March in Osaka, where he will have to win eight bouts to retain his place at the sport's second-highest rank.