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Saturday, Dec. 25, 2004

Takekaze out of New Year Basho

Eighth-ranked maegashira Takekaze has undergone surgery on his left eye and will likely miss the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament next month, sumo sources said Thursday.

The 25-year-old wrestler from Oguruma stable underwent the operation Wednesday in order to prevent retinal detachment, which can cause vision loss, after he complained of eye irritation earlier this month.

"I doubt he'll be ready for the New Year's meet. I haven't heard from him yet, but I can't force him to compete," said stablemaster Oguruma, hinting that Takekaze will sit out the Jan. 9-23 basho at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

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