Concerns For The Boss (Hakuho)

Hakuho (白鵬 翔) Back To Practice, Will Try To Make September Tournament

From the tweet cited below, Hakuho resumed practice today. I have mixed feelings and dread about this news. It has been clear from video that the Boss is still injured, and is under pressure from himself, the Sumo Association and his own commitment to Sumo to take a shot at the big tournament in Tokyo, now one week away.

Firstly, I am not a medical professional, but one could guess that Hakuho may have suffered a MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury during the Nagoya tournament; my guess is it happened day 9 when he fell against Ikioi, and compounded day 15 when Harumafuji lost his grip on the Boss just before Hakuho fell off the Dohyo. It’s clear he feels the knee is unstable, and he has trouble straightening it.

Hakuho is the greatest Yokozuna in history, and his commitment to his legions of fans is a testament to how much he loves his role in Sumo. Earlier in the week, a trial balloon of him sitting out the September tournament was blasted by the Summo Association, who urged him to play through the pain. Furthermore, the popularity of Sumo is once again on the rise in Japan, and he feels responsible to help ensure that the tournament is everything the fans are looking forward to, and most of Japan are eager to see Hakuho.

Sadly, with the Boss banged up, there is a real chance that the upcoming tournament may end his career. A further injury to that knee may be something that he cannot recover from.