Grand champion Hakuho appears unlikely to take part in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend as he is still recovering from knee surgery, his stablemaster Miyagino said Tuesday.
The Mongolian yokozuna had endoscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right knee and also underwent a procedure to clean out loose cartilage in his right ankle on Oct. 18.
Following practice at the stable on Tuesday, Miyagino said the 33-year-old Hakuho was limited to the "shiko" warm-up exercise routine.
"He's exercising a bit," Miyagino said, adding that the wrestler needed to keep the knee warm to stay pain free.
"It is OK when it's warm, but he needs to keep it covered while sleeping."
At September's Autumn meet, Hakuho extended his record for career grand tournament championships to 41 with a perfect 15-0 result. He also became the only wrestler to win 1,000 bouts in the sport's top division.
But with the condition of his knee worsening, he opted for surgery. He has struggled with injuries this year, withdrawing from three of the five tournaments held so far.
The Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament will be held from Sunday through Nov. 25 at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center.