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Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007

Asa begins workouts in homeland

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu has begun training to build up muscle strength and could return to Japan from his homeland before the end of this month, his stablemaster Takasago said Wednesday.

"At the moment we are looking at him (Asashoryu) coming back after the 21st (of October)," said Takasago. "We will see how he's doing with the training and then decide on a return date." Asashoryu went back to Mongolia at the end of August to undergo treatment for a stress disorder at a facility in Harhorin, about 360 km west of Ulan Bator.

According to sources close to Asashoryu, he went through a training session lasting about three hours in Ulan Bator on Tuesday after moving to the Mongolian capital from Harhorin the previous day. Asashoryu was diagnosed with the disorder shortly after he was suspended from last month's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament and the Kyushu meet in November.

The yokozuna was hit with the ban for playing in a charity soccer match in Mongolia, despite having been permitted to skip a regional training tour due to injuries.

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