Last year, Ramadan coincided with the July tournament. During Ramadan, practicing muslims fast during the daylight hours – which are at their longest this time of year. As sumo’s only muslim sekitori, Oosunaarashi is at a distinct disadvantage. However, last year he was able to pick up two kinboshi in a row – one off Harumafuji, the other from Kakuryu – though at other times he did seem to be a bit off. He was able to finish with a very respectable 7-8 record from the position of Maegashira 3.
Coming off injury in July’s tournament, if healthy, Oosunaarashi stands to have a much easier schedule than he did last year. Ramadan and the injury will probably force him to take a much lighter practice schedule and the extra rest may be beneficial, helping to recover. Too often these guys are coming back way too early and then aggravating their injuries so I hope he gets to rest. This July, he will not be facing any yokozuna as he will have surely dropped into the mid-maegashira ranks…perhaps M8 to M10?
Anyway, I know it was raised as an issue during last year’s tournament and I think coming back healthy from the injury will be of more concern this year.