Earlier today, in Tokyo (via Japan Times), Hakuho announced he would be out (Kyujo) of the September tournament in Tokyo. I am sure that the fans are disappointed, he is disappointed and everyone wants to see this guy defeat all comers like he normally would. But as mentioned earlier, his knee injury, if he does not let it heal, could end his career at this point.
“I’m sorry to the fans,” Hakuho said. “I want work on healing in time for the autumn regional tour and the Kyushu Basho (in November).”
The 31-year-old Mongolian yokozuna had been struggling to prepare for the upcoming 15-day event at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo due to injuries to his left knee and right big toe.
He has stated his desire to remain in the ring until 2020, and doing so require strategic thinking, including making sure that an injury like this is healed. I would hope that he is working with sports medicine specialists, or he gets on a plane and comes to the US to consult one. The last thing anyone wants now is for his injury from Nagoya to force him into retirement.
This opens the path to Kisenosato, who is the great hope for Japan to once again have a wrestler at the highest rank in Sumo. To do that, he would need to win a tournament. Thus far Hakuho and Harumafuji have been too dominant for that to happen. With the greatest Yokozuna in recorded history benched with a bad knee, Kisenosato may never have a better opportunity.
More from the Japan Times article –
Fans expected Hakuho to be the prime obstacle in ozeki Kisenosato’s bid to become first Japanese-born yokozuna since 1998 — with an Autumn Basho title likely required for his promotion. But Hakuho is wishing his long-time rival good luck.
“Things like these can’t be helped,” he said. “I’d like him to grab the chance. I’m not fighting him this time and would like to join in supporting him (for promotion).”