FUKUOKA--Hobbled yokozuna Kisenosato dropped out of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 21, the 10th day of the tournament, joining two other yokozuna on the sidelines.

His stablemaster, Tagonoura, submitted a medical certificate earlier in the day to the Japan Sumo Association. The certificate said Kisenosato, 31, was suffering from a contusion in his lower back and an injury to a left leg ligament that will require about a month of rest and medical treatment.

"He is unable to fully use his strength because he has to compensate for various parts of his body that are hurt," Tagonoura told reporters. "He made the decision himself to sit out the tournament."

The Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament will mark the fourth consecutive one in which Kisenosato has been either unable to fight from the very beginning or has had to drop out during the tournament.

He lost on Nov. 20, leaving him with a 4-5 record, with all five losses coming to lower maegashira-rank wrestlers. Five losses by a yokozuna to maegashira wrestlers ties the record for most losses since the summer tournament of 1949 when the 15-day tournament system was established.

Depending on his record in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament to be held in Tokyo in January, Kisenosato may be forced to think about retirement. While a yokozuna cannot be demoted, a string of losing records is often frowned upon by sumo elders.

Kisenosato sat out the entire Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in September and was hoping to make a comeback in the Kyushu tournament but it was not to be, much to the disappointment of fans who enthusiastically hailed his promotion to yokozuna in January 2017. Kisenosato was the first Japan-born wrestler to ascend to sumo's highest rank in 19 years.

The Kyushu tournament now has the undefeated Hakuho as the only yokozuna still taking part. Kakuryu sat out from the first day due to injury, and Harumafuji dropped out from the third day in part due to reports that he beat a maegashira during a drunken brawl in October.

Kisenosato shook off injuries to his left arm and chest area in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament to win his second consecutive Emperor's Cup, but he has been unable to overcome the aftereffects of those injuries and has not fought an entire tournament ever since.