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Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008

Injured Asa shifts focus to 2009

Kyodo News

Troubled yokozuna Asashoryu said Friday he will skip the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament starting Sunday due to an injured left elbow.

"I'll sit out (the Kyushu meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center)," Asashoryu said. "There's no need to force myself as I have not trained. I'll try my best at the next tournament."

Asashoryu, who returned to Japan on Wednesday after staying in Mongolia from Oct. 6 for treatment, submitted a doctor's certificate earlier in the day to the Japan Sumo Association that says his injury will require some three weeks to recover, according to sumo sources.

Asashoryu pulled out midway in each of the last two tournaments. Speculation has since grown that the 22-time Emperor's Cup winner would not return to the ring until the New Year meet, at which time he is expected to put his career on the line.



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