The Yomiuri Shimbun Four days before it starts, the Kyushu Grand Tournament is already missing a member of the fragile quartet of yokozuna.
Kakuryu will skip the tournament starting Sunday at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center due to various injuries, stablemaster Izutsu revealed Wednesday morning.
It marks the fourth straight tournament Kakuryu will miss, dating back to the Summer tourney in May.
The 32-year-old Kakuryu actively participated in training following the announcement of the Kyushu rankings in late October. But according to the stablemaster, it only served to worsen nagging injuries to his right ankle and back.
The Mongolian, who had not trained since Monday, went to a hospital for tests on Wednesday, and it was determined he will need three weeks to recover from his ailments.
“To allow him to enter the tournament in this condition would be irresponsible,” Izutsu said. “I feels very deep regret.”
Izutsu said Kakuryu will aim to return to the ring for the New Year tournament in January.
“He has to decide [whether to retire] if he gets into the ring in January and does not achieve a good result,” Izutsu said.
Kakuryu was one of three yokozuna, along with Hakuho and Kisenosato, who pulled out of the previous Autumn Grand Tournament in Tokyo. The remaining yokozuna, Harumafuji, won the title, although he needed to defeat ozeki Goeido twice on the final day, the second time in a championship playoff, to do it. Speech