Two-time Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu will miss the upcoming national championships in Osaka due to a right ankle injury, the Japan Skating Federation announced Thursday.
It will be Hanyu's third consecutive year missing nationals after pulling out last year with a similar injury and withdrawing in 2017 with the flu.
"I was doing everything I could to make the national championships, so I'm very disappointed that I cannot participate," Hanyu said in a statement through the federation.
"I will make an effort to return to competition as soon as the pain and limitations are gone."
While the Dec. 21-24 nationals double as a qualifier for next year's world championships in Saitama, there is a high likelihood the JSF will grant Hanyu qualification on other criteria.
In his two Grand Prix performances this year, the 24-year-old Japanese superstar posted the world's highest short program and free routine scores since the judging system was revised ahead of the season.
After twisting his right ankle in a fall in practice at the Rostelecom Cup on Nov. 17, Hanyu was told he needed three weeks of rest and one month of rehabilitation to recover from a ligament injury sustained in the crash.
He claimed his second straight Grand Prix title of the season despite the injury, but was later forced to withdraw from the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final for the second straight year.
Hanyu suffered a similar injury at the 2017 NHK Trophy before making a comeback at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where he became the first male figure skater to win consecutive Olympic golds since American Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.