Read the full story on SportsLook - Terunofuji Pulls Out of Kyushu Basho with Back Pain
Yokozuna Terunofuji pulled out of the upcoming Kyushu Basho on Thursday, November 9 due to lower back pain. This is the latest setback in his bid to return to competition.
The 15-day event, also known as the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament, is the final basho of the year. It gets underway on Sunday, November 12 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Terunofuji sat out the entire Autumn Basho in September treating a herniated disc and symptoms of diabetes.
After missing the New Year Tournament and the Spring Basho, Terunofuji won the Summer Basho in May for his eighth championship.
He was forced to pull out of the Nagoya tourney in July after just three days in which he lost two bouts.
'He Can't Wrestle'
The Mongolian-born yokozuna, who is 31, has declared he wants to win 10 Emperor's Cups. But will he have the steam?
His on, and mostly off, career over the past year is not something the Japan Sumo Association can be happy with.
Yokozuna are supposed to represent the pinnacle of the sport and be dominating.
"He feels (back) pain when he drives forward, he can't wrestle," his stable master Isegahama said, according to Kyodo News.
Isegahama said the yokozuna had been practicing in Kyushu but just couldn't overcome the pain and is now aiming for a return to action at the New Year meet in January.
"We'd been working assuming he'd take part (in Fukuoka)," Isegahama told Kyodo. "But he can't deal with opponents making dodging moves. He gets inflammation after a little bit of training."
Terunofuji will miss the whole or part of a meet for the eighth time during his 14 meets since being promoted to yokozuna after the Nagoya Basho in 2021.
Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.
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Author: Jim Armstrong
The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.