It was clear that in the course of the Nagoya basho, that fan favorite Ura damaged his right knee competing against some of the top men of sumo. Up until Nagoya, Ura had remained largely unhurt during his sumo career, and it allowed him to compete with a level of energy and agility that few had seen before.
In an article published in Yahoo Japan, Ura is now out with the crew on tour, bringing sumo closer to the fans. His injury is significant enough that his jungyo participation is limited, and he does take keiko or scrimmage with the other rikishi. In the article, he admits that he was likely not yet ready to fight the Ozeki and Yokozuna corps, and as a result is now trying to heal damage to his right knee’s lateral ligaments (that hold the knee together). He still intends to enter competition at Aki in September.
Commentary: Clearly the NSK has a problem, with it’s star sumotori being frequently injured, and more of them taking injury each basho. When fan favorites don’t show up for events, fans lose interest, sponsors lose interest and the NSK fails to achieve revenue goals. So nobody gets a chance to heal up, and everyone just suffers a bit more each time. As a result, sumo as a whole degrades and competition declines. Someone needs to fix this.