Kazuchika Okada is working through two slipped discs in his lower back, according the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Over the last few months, Okada has been wrestling more basic matches and has been kept out of the main event scene due to the injury.
He’s reportedly “hurting bad” and trying to take it easier when on undercard matches to allow himself to perform at his usual level for main event matches.
As evidence of NJPW wanting to rest Okada as much as possible, Shingo Takagi defeated Okada earlier today in the first round of the New Japan Cup. Okada won the tournament in 2019, and lost to EVIL in the finals of last year’s New Japan Cup.