NHK Sports is reporting that Tochinoshin will not compete on Day 7. Shodai will get the fusen win. Obviously, we will try the best we can to get information on the severity, and whether he will return this tournament. We’ll remember Endo returned after going kyujo last tournament and did not win any bouts after a 3 day break. As Ozeki, Tochinoshin now has a serious advantage. If it turns out this is a serious injury, he could stand to go kadoban and plan to come back in September. If it is even more serious, he could stand to go back down to ozekiwake in November, win 10 and come retain his Ozeki rank to start the year. But, this being sumo, he’ll likely be back by Monday.
We now have no Yokozuna and two Ozeki. As things stand, we’re looking at Goeido/Takayasu showdown on the final day. Woo. This basho is melting…melting…
Update: Tochinoshin’s medical certificate is for “Damage to the collateral ligament of the MTP joint of the great toe. Requires about 1 month of rest and may require further treatment”. (Source: Nikkan Sports – Herouth)
In the previous health report I did not have details about Takayasu and Terunofuji, so here is the news. Unfortunately, it is not too encouraging.
When I read that Kisenosato decided to go out for degeiko with Kotoshogiku et al., it was clear to me that Takayasu has probably taken a turn for the worse, as Kisenosato said at first that he’ll “prefer to practice at home now that Takayasu is fine”.
And indeed, it turns out that Takayasu stayed behind and spent today only doing light butsukari with low-level opponents, and there’s word that he will not be attending the Nishonoseki Ichimon’s collective practice tomorrow, which Kisenosato most certainly will.
“I would like to do more” responded Takayasu to press questions, but still kept at a low pace, perhaps hoping to attend the collective practice after all.
The next item was also originally published by Nikkan sports yesterday, but it was retracted, and currently there’s only this copy at Mixi News which may also disappear. Just so you know how Japanese sports media work…
Turns out Terunofuji had a miserable day yesterday. He started to practice with a Makushita opponent just after 10AM, with a heavily taped knee, and only managed a miserable 8:8, of which there were two occurrences of three consecutive losses.
After 15 minutes like that, he left the dohyo and walked around it, checking on his knee. After a 30 minute break, he decided to resume his practice, this time with Takarafuji. This ended up 2:6. That is, two wins for Terunofuji, six for Takarafuji.
After that he lightly grappled with one of the youngsters for a few minutes, mainly to test his ability to apply force to his knee.
Although he kept a sunny expression on his face and joked around with the youngsters, when he was questioned by the present members of the press, he opted to delegate handling them to his tsukebito.
Today Sports Navi published a video of Isegahama practices (proxy required outside Japan). It shows Aminishiki doing several bouts against a low-rank opponent – successfully. Then Terunofuji taking several bouts with Homarefuji. Then Harumafuji several with Terutsuyoshi (also successfully).
Terunofuji’s bouts in that video clip fit the article above. 6W3L vs. a Juryo opponent. He seems to have a hard time dealing with oshi-zumo, and he winces and limps.
A tweet I ran into also implies that he requires water to be drained from his knee regularly, though it didn’t specify the source of that information, or how frequently.
The retracted article ends saying that at this rate, it’s questionable whether Terunofuji will be able to turn out the ten wins required for him to return to Ozeki (and I suppose this summary was the reason the article was retracted). I agree.
On November 3rd, Ura has participated in moshiai-geiko with members of Sandanme and Jonidan, for about 10 bouts, wearing a brace on his injured knee covered with a regular knee supporter. It turns out it has been his second day training.
Following the moshiai, he removed the supporter and brace, and with his knee merely taped he followed up with light butsukari, offering his chest to lower-level rikishi. However, he could be seen limping outside the dohyo.
Ura’s response to reporters’ question has been laconic, mainly “I myself don’t know yet how it will turn out”. His stablemaster seemed to worry that Ura might injure himself again, but said that “It’s not that he can’t do sumo at all. I’ll leave the decision to the man himself”.
Tweets since that story, and the above picture which is from Ikioi’s blog, tell us that Ura continues to practice – mostly that light butsukari with lower level wrestlers.
My personal opinion is that this is horrible news. It means that Ura is not following the standard procedure for ACL tears, and may be on the path to permanent damage to his career as well as his health.
One of those same tweets had some better news regarding Ikioi and Ichinojo. Those who followed the summer Jungyo may recall that Ikioi was kyujo from most of it (but returned near the end) because of a bulging disc, for which he was prescribed a diet and advised to strengthen the muscles around the problem area. Ichinojo went kyujo from the Jungyo just about when Ikioi returned, due to a hernia of an undisclosed type.
The tweet in question said that those two, in contrast to Ura, had an excellent, powerful training (apparently they engaged each other).
Another bit of news from the practice grounds in Fukuoka has to do with Enho.
There is still no official word of what happened to his foot (and the photo above is only of his upper body), but a tweet I saw today seemed to offer some encouraging news:
“After keiko was over I was nearby when Hakuho called Enho and offered him his chest [for butsukari], but seeing Enho clashing into him again and again with a desparate look seemed to bring him near to tears. I felt that Hakuho was feeling empathy for Enho.
I suppose the fact that Enho had no taping on his foot means that it’s OK?”
So, what I make of it is that Enho is not taped up, and may be in passable condition to fight. But Hakuho may be worried about something in his performance.
There’s more bad news on Kisenosato. His stable revealed new details of the extent of his injuries which include a previously undisclosed injury to his left major pectoral muscle. He also restarted training on April 3. We can only wonder why he’s begun training again but I hope his injury is allowed to heal completely. Maybe he’s being allowed to throw a ball against the wall to stave off boredom?
This news comes via Nikkei. The headline we’ll discuss today is below:
By now, we know the kanji for Kisenosato’s shikona, so we all know who we’re talking about. So let’s move on and parse the six kanji characters in the middle, right before the hiragana “GA.” This is usually the subject. These six go together as, “left (左) major (大) pectoral (胸) muscle (筋) injury (損傷).”
Going back to the kanji and two hiragana characters after the comma, we’ve also previously seen the kanji for “new”. With the hiragana -tani, we get the adverbial form, so this yields, “newly.” Japanese usually puts the verb at the end of the phrase. In this case we get, hanmei, or reveal (判明) right before the break in the headline. So, we basically have “a newly revealed left pectoral muscle injury.”
It’s this last bit which is the startling revelation, in my book. Let’s start at the end. The last two characters (再開) mean restart. Immediately before that, we see what he restarted. Keiko (稽古) means “training.” Hikōkai (非公開) means “private,” and with the hiragana -de, we can take that as “privately.” So, all together, Kisenosato has privately restarted training with a previously undisclosed left pectoral injury. Surely the big guy was not going to sit on the couch watching Cowboy Bebop all day. And he has pulled out of the Spring Jungyo exhibition tour. They are taking his injury seriously and I hope he will be healed and ready in May.
Lastly, I thought I’d show the translations we get from our three translation engines. Google didn’t do too poorly but the use of the word “unpublished” rather than “private” does change the meaning of the headline pretty significantly. Rather than saying he has already restarted, that would seem to imply it may start again at a future date. Excite takes the other tack of making it explicit that “practice resumes.” Yahoo’s regurgitated brekkie sausage (wonderful term, Dana!) brings to mind those fancy restaurants that smear sugar, cocoa and honey on a plate, calling it a “deconstructed S’more.” Completely unintelligible.
According to Google Translate: “Rare village, newly revealed left major pectoral muscle damage Unpublished training restart”
According to Yahoo! Japan: “Revelation is closed and takes a lesson, and, Kisenosato, the left pectoralis major muscle damage reopens newly”
According to Excite: “The left greater pectoral muscle damage is revealing closure again, and a practice resumes Sato of rare momentum.”
Isegahama oyakata has his own doubts over Terunofuji’s knees. He can drive forward but can’t retreat or pivot effectively. Apparently there’s been quite a bit of embarrassment over the fact that he ended the last tournament on a 9-bout losing streak. However, that’s not been his worst performance this year. Back in March he went on a 13-bout schneid. In between these he achieved kachi-koshi in May on one of those final day prayer bouts. Anything less than 8 wins will result in demotion. Conversely, anything more than 7 wins may result in suspicion. Here’s to a healthy Terunofuji…or pulling out of the tournament. In 2002, Kaio pulled out of the November after day 4 and missed all of the January 2003 basho yet returned -still as Ozeki – in March.