Defending champ Takahashi out of Grand Prix Final with leg injury

Japanese skater Daisuke Takahashi won’t be able to defend his title at next week’s Grand Prix Final because of a leg injury.

The Japan Skating Federation said Thursday that Takahashi hurt his right leg during a practice on Tuesday and will require at least two weeks of rest to recover.

Reserve Nobunari Oda will replace Takahashi in the elite six-man field.

Takahashi qualified for the GP Final with a fourth-place finish at Skate America and a win at the NHK Trophy earlier this month.

The Dec. 5-8 final in Fukuoka, Japan, is the culmination of the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix series. Skaters compete in men’s and women’s singles, pairs and ice dancing. Takahashi won last year’s men’s singles in Sochi, Russia.