Yuzuru Hanyu has been ruled out of the Cup of Russia with an ankle injury ©Getty Images

Back-to-back Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has been ruled out of his second Grand Prix of Figure Skating assignment, the Cup of Russia, because of an ankle injury.

It also forced him to withdraw from last week's NHK Trophy in Tokyo.

"It hurts when I move it certain ways," Hanyu said.

"But I'm at the point where it doesn't hurt just doing routine daily things.

"I'm not even at the starting line yet, but will steadily move forward."

The injury has jeopardised the 26-year-old's chances of competing at the Japan Figure Skating Championships and his subsequent qualification for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Yuzuru Hanyu has won the Cup of Russia on two previous occasions, in 2011 and 2018 ©Getty Images
Yuzuru Hanyu has won the Cup of Russia on two previous occasions, in 2011 and 2018 ©Getty Images

However, his bid for a third consecutive Olympic gold would not end if he was forced out of the National Championships.

"He will remain in consideration for the team," said Japan Skating Federation's director of development, Yosuke Takeuchi.

"There is the example from four years ago, and I believe that if he works rigorously to get back, he will return to competitive form," Takeuchi added, referencing Hanyu's recovery from injury to win gold at Pyeongchang 2018.

Running from December 23 to 26, the National Championships at the Saitama Super Arena are typically the final chance for Japanese skaters to qualify for the three men's and three women's spots on the Olympic team, but the National Federation retains the option of selecting a skater based on past performance.

The Cup of Russia is set to take place in Sochi from November 26 to 28 at the Iceberg Skating Palace and will be the last event before the Grand Prix Final.

Hanyu's Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 triumphs made him the first man in 66 years to win back-to-back figure skating Olympic gold medals since.

The last was the United States' Dick Button at Saint Moritz 1948 and Oslo 1952.