Japanese Olympic champion Hanyu gets cleared for NHK meet

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will skate in the upcoming NHK Trophy, keeping alive his hopes of defending his title at the season-ending ISU Grand Prix Final.

The Japan Skate Federation announced Wednesday that Hanyu made his final decision following a practice session at Namihaya Dome in Osaka, the venue for the NHK Trophy starting Friday.

The NHK Trophy is the sixth and last meet in the Grand Prix series, from which the top six advance to the Grand Prix Finals in Barcelona on Dec. 11-14.

Hanyu can clinch a place outright by finishing third or better in Osaka.

Hanyu's participation was up in the air as he recovered from injuries suffered during a hard collision with China's Yan Han during the warm-up for the free programme at the Cup of China on Nov. 8.

Hanyu still skated and, despite looking groggy and falling five times, finished in second place.

He skipped the Sunday exhibition and returned in a wheelchair to Japan, where he was diagnosed with a rash of injuries to his head and body that kept him out of training for several weeks.