Kyodo sports news summary

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TOKYO, Jan. 11 (22:57) Kyodo

Soccer: Miyaichi's return to action delayed

LONDON - Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez expects Ryo
Miyaichi to be out for a longer spell than initially expected as he
recovers from an ankle injury.

Miyaichi has endured a difficult time since arriving on loan
from Arsenal in the summer, but Martinez had hinted at the
possibility of him playing in the third round of the FA Cup last
weekend against Bournemouth.

Soccer: Kofu take Hanyu on loan from Tokyo

TOKYO - Promoted Ventforet Kofu have signed ex-Japan midfielder
Naotake Hanyu on a loan deal for next season from FC Tokyo, the
second division champions said Friday.

Hanyu has made a total of 264 appearances in J1 but the
33-year-old former JEF United Chiba man was limited to 13 outings
last term.

Rugby: NTT Docomo's Stephano banned 2 games for dangerous tackle

TOKYO - NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes flanker Steven Stephano was
handed a two-match ban on Friday for a dangerous tackle in last
weekend's Top League game against Toyota Verblitz.

Stephano will miss Docomo's Feb. 9 relegation playoff against
the fourth-ranked team from the regional leagues. Red Hurricanes lost
31-24 to Toyota, a defeat that saw them finish the season 13th.

Sumo: Harumafuji braces for do-or-die fight at New Year basho

TOKYO - If one thing is causing grand champion Harumafuji to
lose sleep, haunted by an eerie requiem, it is knowing that the
powers that be would just as soon banish him from the ancient
Japanese sport than have him disgrace the prized yokozuna rank.

Entering only his second tournament at the top of the sumo's
highest perch, Harumafuji is already dangerously close to plunging
headlong over that precipice to a fate from whence there will be no
deliverance: forced early retirement.

Soccer: Former Japan midfielder Santos finds new home with Tochigi

TOKYO - Tochigi SC have signed Brazilian-born former Japan
midfielder Alessandro Santos, the J-League second division club said
on Friday.

The 35-year-old two-time World Cup star was released in December
by Nagoya Grampus. He has scored 67 goals in 353 career games in the
Japanese top flight with Shimizu S-Pulse, Urawa Reds and Grampus.

Baseball: Ex-Carp pitchers Ono, Sotokoba elected to hall of fame

TOKYO - Former Hiroshima Carp standouts Yutaka Ono and Yoshiro
Sotokoba were selected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame on

Left-handed pitcher Ono won the 1988 Sawamura Award, the
Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young, and is one of only six to record
100 wins and 100 saves for his career. The 57-year-old has a lifetime
record of 148-100 with 138 saves over 22 years.

Golf: Ikeda starts season with 69 at Sony Open

HONOLULU - Yuta Ikeda shot a 69 in his U.S. PGA season debut
during the first round of the Sony Open on Thursday.

Ikeda, appearing at the Sony Open for the first time, had four
birdies against three bogeys to stay seven shots off the pace of
Scott Langley at the par-70 Waialae Country Club.

Motor racing: Sato to stay in IndyCar racing

TOKYO - Former Formula One pilot Takuma Sato said Friday he will
compete on the IndyCar circuit for another season with the A.J. Foyt

Sato has been racing Indy since 2010. He came in a career-high
second in the Edmonton Grand Prix last year, and was in contention
for the lead until the final lap of the Indy 500.

Tennis: Nishikori drawn with Hanescu in Aussie Open 1st rd

MELBOURNE - Last year's quarterfinalist Kei Nishikori was drawn
with Victor Hanescu of Romania in the first round of the Australian
Open on Friday.

World No. 18 Nishikori is seeded 16th for the season's first
Grand Slam event. The two other Japanese in the men's draw, Go Soeda
and Tatsuma Ito, will face Australians Luke Saville and John Millman,

Soccer: Morimoto loaned to Al Nasr from Catania

MILAN - Japan striker Takayuki Morimoto will be loaned to UAE
side Al Nasr from Catania, the Serie A club said Thursday.

Al Nasr are managed by Italian Walter Zenga, who previously
coached the 24-year-old Morimoto at Catania. Catania recently said
the deal runs through June 30 with an option for a full transfer.

Baseball: Yanks want Matsui to retire in pinstripes, may offer 1-day

PARADISE VALLEY, Arizona - Hideki Matsui could wear pinstripes
again -- for one, last day.

The New York Yankees are considering signing Matsui to a one-day
contract so he can retire as a member of the organization, team
co-owner Hal Steinbrenner said Thursday.

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