Ichinojo will join Hakuho on the couch for the upcoming fall tournament. Minato oyakata cited lower back pain as the reason he needed to withdraw. After a high-flying first few tournaments, it became apparent over the last few basho that the nagging back injury was hindering his progress.
Regular readers of this blog are probably very familiar with my position that injured wrestlers should sit – demotion be damned. In Ichinojo’s case, however, his Maegashira 3 rank is certainly high enough for him to not need to worry about demotion from makuuchi and likely made the decision easier. As noted in this 中日スポーツ article, the more intense competition from the higher ranked wrestlers made it necessary for Ichinojo to rest this tournament.