Olympic champion Hanyu pulls out NHK Trophy with injury

OSAKA, Japan (AP) 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.

He appeared to be favoring his right ankle but did not leave practice. 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.

The Pyeongchang Olympics start in three months.

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.

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