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Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Musashimaru to skip spring basho

Yokozuna Musashimaru will pull out of the upcoming Spring Grand Sumo Tournament after failing to recover from wrist surgery, his stablemaster said Monday.

The 31-year-old grand champion has been out of action since November, when he aggravated a nagging wrist injury midway through the Kyushu tourney and underwent surgery later that month.

"Musashimaru is in no shape to compete at the moment," stablemaster Musashigawa said.

The Samoan-born giant has endured a frustrating time in his comeback after surgery and has yet to resume full training.

"There's no way I can wrestle. It's been three months since I had the operation but my wrist is still painful," said Musashimaru, who will miss his third straight tourney and his sixth overall.

His withdrawal leaves newly promoted Mongolian Asashoryu as the only grand champion in the March 9-23 tournament in Osaka.

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