Tetsuya Naito went down with a knee injury in September that cost him being involved in this year’s NJPW G1 Climax tournament. The injury was sustained on September 18 against Zack Sabre Jr. and Naito had to forfeit the remaining matches — ending with a 0-9 record.
At today’s Wrestle Kingdom 16 Press Conference, Naito announced he would not need surgery and is returning to the ring for the World Tag League on November 14. His tag partner is fellow LIJ member, SANADA.
“I’ve torn ligaments in my knee twice before, and I know that with severe ligament damage, you tend to need surgery that can put you on the shelf for a year,” Naito said to the media. “That’s what I was preparing myself mentally for as I went to the hospital, but thankfully there was no ligament damage, and no need for surgery.
“It was a painful injury, and I needed time to heal, but on November 14, in Korakuen Hall on the first night of World Tag League, I will be back. My partner? Of course, SANADA. I messaged SANADA yesterday, and all I got in response was a thumbs up emoji. That’s pretty on brand, right?”
The rest of the World Tag League field has yet to be announced. Typically, the winners receive a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship in January. The current title holders are Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.