Photo/IllutrationYuzuru Hanyu performs his free skating routine in Russia last October. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea--Still nursing an injured ankle, Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will concentrate on the men's single figure skating event at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Although Hanyu's goal is to become the first repeat gold medalist in men's figure skating in 66 years, he has not skated competitively since October's Rostelecom Cup in Russia.

He sprained his right ankle during a practice session for the NHK Trophy in Osaka the following month. While Hanyu is now practicing again, he apparently decided to not take part in the team event that starts Feb. 9, when the Opening Ceremony will also be held.

Several sources said that Hanyu would not arrive in South Korea in time for the team event.

The short program for the men's single event is scheduled for Feb. 16 with free skating to be held the following day.

While not taking part in the team event would alleviate the physical burden on his still recovering right ankle, Hanyu risks losing out on an opportunity to bolster his confidence before the men's single event.

At the Sochi Winter Olympics four years ago, Hanyu finished first in the men's short program for the team event and contributed to Japan's fifth-place finish.

The confidence gained in the team event helped Hanyu become the first Japanese male to win a gold medal in figure skating.

At Pyeongchang, Japan's two other male skaters, Shoma Uno and Keiji Tanaka, will take part in the team event, which involves all four figure skating disciplines.

No decision has been made on how the roles would be distributed for the men's part of the team event. One skater could do both the short program and free skating, while the other option would be to have Uno and Tanaka split up the two programs among themselves.