It was announced that Kakuryu will not compete in May, either. The yokozuna will miss his second tournament in a row with a serious left shoulder injury. Sadly, I think this will increase the pressure on Harumafuji to win. Interestingly, though, it sets up an easier path for Terunofuji as he will only have to face the lone yokozuna. With Ozeki Goeido coming off a shoulder injury and jackrabbit Kotoshogiku’s perpetually if-y knees as well, he is set up for success. He’ll still have a tough road to a yusho or 14-1 performance but 10 wins is certainly in the cards.
As for Endo, he surprisingly intends to compete! I wish him luck but we’ll see how effective he’ll be on Sunday. I understand the desire to not drop into Juryo but even with the relatively light schedule at M9, it will still be rough with a weak knee. We’ve seen Oosunaarashi tough it out with apparent knee issues but he’s certainly got the upper-body strength and the forearm delivery to bull through 4-6 wins when weakened. With those fat bounty envelopes, Endo will have a target on his back and every rikishi has that little bit more incentive to take him down.
If anyone’s heard news from Aminishiki or Chiyootori, certainly share in the comments. I’ll see what I can dig up.