His knee won’t bend… absent and Terunofuji “an unexpected bet for retirement crisis”.
On the aisle, Terunofuji dragged his leg and frowned in pain. He was unable to bend his knees in SONKYO before the bout. ……
Yokozuna Terunofuji (30) was absent from the tournament for the 13th time due to injuries to both of his old knees, submitting a medical report to the Japan Sumo Association on September 20 stating that he has both deformed knees and a right knee bone spur and is expected to require three weeks of rest and treatment. In the current tournament, he had distributed four gold stars to the flat-top makuuchi rikishi, including Shozaru and Tamawashi.
He had been entering the ring with injections for pain relief in both knees, but it seems he has reached his limit. According to his master, Isekehama Oyakata (former yokozuna Asahifuji), further injections of painkilling steroids would weaken his ligaments. The pain is so severe that it interferes with his daily life, making it impossible for him to walk or sit down satisfactorily, let alone wrestle.
It must have been the will of the lone yokozuna that kept him competing to this point. In October, after the first tournament, a party is scheduled to announce his promotion to yokozuna. Not only will he not be able to report his victory at the party, but he will have to sit out the tournament, which must be very frustrating for him,” said an official of the Sumo Association.
I can’t even sit on the toilet.
Terunofuji’s life as a sumo wrestler has been a battle against injury and illness.
Terunofuji injured his right knee in the September 2003 tournament, just after his first promotion to ozeki. In January 2004, he suffered a serious injury, including a fracture of his right collarbone, and in September 2005, he fell from the rank of ozeki after 14 seasons. The pain did not subside at all, and he underwent surgery on his knee three times. At one point, he was in so much pain that he could not sit on a Western-style toilet by himself, let alone step on the floor.
In January 2006, it was discovered that he had diabetes. In January 2006, it was discovered that he was suffering from diabetes, and he was unable to compete at all, and in March 2007 he was demoted to shichi-nidan. This was the first time in history that a rikishi had been demoted to the shichi-nidan rank, a humiliation unprecedented not only for an ozeki but also for a rikishi with experience as a san’yaku.
More than once Terunofuji offered his retirement to Isekehama Oyakata. He once looked for work in his native Mongolia, thinking about his life after quitting sumo.
The stablemaster continues to encourage Terunofuji. He said, “Even if he quits, he must first recover from his injuries and illness. I think Terunofuji did well to persevere. He continued his training toward his return to the rank of sekitori, and he also made sure to avoid alcohol and fatty foods. His stable is also supporting him. Normally, you are not assigned to the first two ranks, but as a special exception, an attendant from his ozeki days took care of some chores for him,” said a sports newspaper reporter.
Terunofuji endured treatment and rigorous training and rose to the rank of yokozuna. However, both of his knees, which had been repeatedly strained, seemed to be giving him grief.
He said, “If the pain is so bad that it interferes with your daily life, you can’t heal it with coping methods. If nothing is done, the pain will continue to worsen, and he will surely be on the verge of retirement. As Oyakata has suggested, he will probably have to undergo surgery.
However, even if he does have surgery, the inflammation in his joints and bone damage are so severe that he will never fully recover. It will take at least a year for him to return to work. Even then, there is a strong possibility that he will not return to his original condition. Surgery is a gamble at the end of the ring.
Terunofuji, in his seventh season as yokozuna, was at the biggest crossroads in his career as a sumo wrestler. The indomitable rikishi, who has come back from hell time and again, should be able to pull off another miracle.
Photo： Kyodo News