Young hopeful, Tomokaze of Oguruma-beya suffered a severe knee dislocation during a fall from the dohyo in November of last year. The injury which took place in his day 2 match against Kotoyuki saw him — less than expertly — helped into a wheelchair, and transported from the Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Tomokaze had just reached his highest rank of Maegashira 3 the tournament before, a position he maintained for November after 7 wins, one of which was against Ozeki Goeido, and another a kinboshi for defeating Yokozuna Kakuryu. Making the top division in only 11 tournaments (one of the fastest rises in sumo history), and having a Juryo yusho, an Outstanding Performance prize, two gold stars, and three winning records in Makuuchi, the injury was a huge disappointment to many enthusiastic supporters.
“It’s really bad, so it may take a year (to fully recover),” stablemaster Oguruma said shortly after the injury occurred. Half a year later, Tomokaze is working hard at physical rehabilitation, and has begun participating in some activities in the training room at Oguruma. “The surgeon cried when he saw the way he’s walking,” Oguruma-oyakata commented recently on the determined deshi’s progress.
When Tomokaze will be back to competition and in what type of fighting form he will be in then, Oguruma-oyakata says he doesn’t know what to expect. But with Natsu Basho having been cancelled, and current ranks being frozen until after July, at least his fall down the chart has been broken, even if just a little.
Source: Nikkan Sports