Izutsu Oyakata announced today that his deshi, Yokozuna Kakuryu, is going to be kyujo from the Kyushu 2018 basho.
This announcement shortly follows Hakuho’s similar announcement. As a result, Kisenosato is going to be sole Yokozuna for the first time in his career.
Kakuryu has been complaining for a few weeks now about his old right ankle injury, which caused him to absent himself from the 2017 Nagoya tournament. Until recently, that old injury has been manageable, in the sense that any swelling following extended activity soon settled, and the Yokozuna could function as normally as any veteran rikishi with cumulative damage can.
However, since the middle of the most recent Jungyo, the swelling would just not go away. Although the Yokozuna participated in daily practice with other sekitori, and seems to be able to do high-level sumo, his stablemaster notes that he cannot stomp shiko with force, and that the doctor said that the type of action he is supposed to face in the second half of the basho might be too harsh.
Tachiai wishes Kakuryu good health, and hopes that he takes appropriate steps to heal himself. We also wish Kisenosato much success handling sole Yokozuna duties in the coming basho.