The Yomiuri ShimbunYokozuna Hakuho submitted a notice to the Japan Sumo Association on Friday that he would not participate in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament set to begin on Sunday because of an injury to the big toe on his left foot.
In addition to Kisenosato, who decided to skip the Spring tournament the previous day, two of the three yokozuna will not participate in the upcoming basho, leaving Kakuryu as sole yokozuna to compete on the dohyo in Osaka.
With the Spring tournament, Hakuho will become the longest-reigning yokozuna in history, holding the rank for 64 tournaments to surpass the figure held by the late yokozuna Kitanoumi of 63 tournaments.
The 32-year old yokozuna pulled out on the fifth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in January after suffering the toe injury in his match on the fourth day.
The condition of the injury has since worsened.
“He can barely do shiko stamping,” stablemaster Miyagino told reporters on Friday.
“It’s very disappointing because he had been working out fine [until the injury worsened].”
Meanwhile, Takanoiwa, who was dropped to the secondary juryo division after being assaulted by then-yokozuna Harumafuji, will return to the dohyo for the first time in three tournaments.