NHK – Details On Yokozuna Hakuho’s Knee Surgery

As mentioned in our upcoming Aki podcast, Yokozuna Hakuho is likely to sit out the September tournament while recovering from surgery to both knees following his exit from the July tournament.

From the article

The sources say Hakuho had endoscopic surgery in mid-August to clean out the hardened ligament and other parts in his right knee. They say he also had surgery on his left knee.

The sources say Hakuho has been unable to practice wrestling even after the latest sumo rankings were released on Monday ahead of the autumn tournament.

Sumo is a combat sport, and it takes a cumulative toll on an athlete’s body, and in spite of Hakuho’s standing as possibly the greatest rikishi of all time, fans like myself worry that his body is wearing down after years dominating the ring.

We hope “The Boss” can recover and dazzle us once again with his sumo, though I fear it may not be until January 2021…

15 thoughts on “NHK – Details On Yokozuna Hakuho’s Knee Surgery

  1. He’s about done. A lesser athlete would have retired already; it’s only his singular blessings in anatomy and skill that’s allowed him to remain competitive while nursing so many chronic injuries.

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing about Kakuryu for the last year. The thing is, the Boss still has more trophies this past 12 months than anyone else.

  2. Hakuho – I’m going to retire after I do my Dohyo-ri at the Olympics.

    Covid – ohh yea? Welp, I’ll cancel the olympics! HA!

    Hakuho – I’ll wait.

    This is what I feel what it boils down to. Hakuho is no fool, he knows how to take things slow. He’s determined to make the Olympics.

  3. I think that the fact that he’s gone for surgery now suggests that he will sit out the next couple of basho but does intend to keep going until the autumn of next year, ie after the Olympics. He owes no-one anything and afford to go kyujo. I also think that this will put some pressure on Kakuryu to at least start the Aki basho although his chances of finishing it seem pretty slim to me. They will both be gone by November ’21, which makes me suspect that we will see some borderline cases get ozeki promotion in the interim.

    • Actually, I expect to see one or two deserved ozeki promotions before November ’21. We now have 3 sekiwake coming off strong performances. With no yokozuna and Takakeisho’s fitness being suspect, what is to stop one or two of them getting 11 or 12 wins on a regular basis? And, (big if) if Terunofuji’s knees hold up he’s also a legitimate prospect for re-promotion to ozeki.
      Sumo has to deal with whoever shows up. You might think the current prospects don’t measure up, but the most recent batch didn’t turn out so great either. As Herouth recently pointed out, no ozeki has won a yusho in 31/2 years. If they put up the numbers, they should get their shot to see what they can do at that level.

      • I would love it if Shodai, Mitakeumi, Terunofuji or Daieisho racked up 33 wins over 3 basho in sanyaku. What I was trying to say was that given the circumstances they might get the nod with 32 wins or a big score from the maegashira ranks being counted. I wouldn’t be surprised if a yusho from Shodai or Mitakeumi in September was enough to do the trick. Fingers crossed (in the British sense).

    • The problem with Kakuryu is that his retirement is not dependent only on Sumo considerations. He is waiting for that Japanese citizenship application to be approved. I guess both of them are lucky that the YDC is conveniently not being convened due to COVID.

  4. Without the Boss, my thoughts turn to the other end of the banzuke.

    Hattorizakura is ranked only a half-step below Kotokino, and on track to collect his 200th in September.

        • Agreed on safe bet. Hard to imagine the odds on not reaching 200. Would have to be injury, rather than wins. Hope it’s not injury that derails him.

          One win is possible – the walkout might have disrupted training and throw him off from “his style of sumo”.

          I really like the young man, he adds his own particular twist to the sport. Would love to find an english in-depth documentary.

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