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The Man Comes Around
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Update on the health conditions of Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata from NJPW medical trainer Takeshi Misawa

Just prior to the business strategy announcements made yesterday on May 16, NJPW trainer Takeshi Misawa was joined by Chairman Sugayabashi and President Harada to give an update on the health conditions of Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata. He also outlined New Japan’s health policy for its wrestlers.

Misawa firstly explained that Honma has been moved from a hospital specializing in cervical vertebrae to a rehabilitation hospital in Osaka. While his discharge date is currently unknown, he has begun muscle training at the gym with permission from doctors. His rehabilitation includes activities such as light running as well.

As for Shibata, his original condition was considered to be life threatening. However, after follow up operations he has now been moved to the general ward. While he currently has no trouble walking and talking, it is impossible to comment right now on any possible after-effects due to his condition. He is currently focused on being discharged from the hospital, so he asks for everyone to “send your shouts of support.”

Next, a description of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Medical Committee highlighted efforts to support the health and well-being of NJPW wrestlers. The Committee consists of a team including neurosurgeons, spinal specialists, orthopedic surgeons, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling trainers. Misawa elaborated, “The Medical Committee decides on the best course of action to deal with these circumstances,” referring to accidents during matches or training. The Medical Committee’s function in these scenarios is to quickly assess the best treatment and support the immediate follow through of that treatment through its network of professionals.

As of 6 years ago, all New Japan wrestlers undergo a yearly MRI and CT scan. This data is analyzed by the Medical Committee to assess each wrestler’s condition. Also, medical staff are on-hand at venues to monitor for health risks and help prevent injuries.

Finally, it was announced that the Medical Committee will limit the number of matches a wrestler may compete in during a series if there is any question over the wrestler’s health.
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