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Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu pulls out NHK Trophy with injury

In this Oct. 21, 2017, file photo, Japan’s Hanyu Yuzuru performs in his free program at the Rostelekom Cup ISU Grand Prix figure skating event in Moscow, Russia. Olympic champion Hanyu will be aiming for the top of the podium at the NHK Trophy, the fourth event of the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix series, on Nov. 10, 11, 2017. (Ivan Sekretarev / Associated Press)
In this Oct. 21, 2017, file photo, Japan’s Hanyu Yuzuru performs in his free program at the Rostelekom Cup ISU Grand Prix figure skating event in Moscow, Russia. Olympic champion Hanyu will be aiming for the top of the podium at the NHK Trophy, the fourth event of the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix series, on Nov. 10, 11, 2017. (Ivan Sekretarev / Associated Press)

OSAKA, Japan – Yuzuru Hanyu has pulled out of the NHK Trophy after injuring his ankle in practice, a setback that could have a serious impact on his preparations for an Olympic title defense.

The 22-year-old Hanyu withdrew before the short program on Friday, a day after falling while attempting a quadruple lutz in practice, and three months before the Pyeongchang Olympics.

He appeared to be favoring his right ankle but did not leave practice on Thursday. He skated during the run through for his free skate, although he did not do any further jumps.

Pulling out of NHK puts in doubt Hanyu’s participation in the next month’s Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.

A two-time world champion, Hanyu last month placed second at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia, where he skated well but wasn’t his dominant self.

He didn’t attend a scheduled news conference after practice on Thursday, when the Japan Skating Federation said Hanyu was getting treatment. Hanyu joined other notable absentees from the NHK.

Patrick Chan withdrew to focus on the Canadian national championships and the Olympics, and Daisuke Murakami pulled out because of pneumonia.


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