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Joey Chestnut — the king of hot dog-eating competitions, seated on a ceramic throne — is gearing up for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition scheduled for the Fourth of July.
However, the six-time defending Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest champion and 14-time Mustard Belt winner appeared at Friday’s weigh-in (238 lbs.), hoisted up by crutches wedged under each armpit in a shocking display of injury from the infallible champ.
Chestnut spoke with reporters and clarified that he’s dealing with a ruptured tendon in his right leg, seen wrapped in a black cast. Chestnut did not disclose how he suffered the damage.
Even amid injury, King Chestnut will be competing and eating for another spot in history on Monday.
“I’m gonna eat like a madman,” Chestnut assured a restless nation keen on his return to Nathan’s stage.
“It’s all right. I’ll be able to stand up and eat. I’m excited,” he added, via Fox News Digital.
His return to the stage comes one year after breaking the all-time hot dog-eating record, yet again, with 76 consumed ‘dawgs in 10 minutes.
After reflecting on last year’s performance, Chestnut noted that passing it with 77 this time around appears within reach.
“If things go really bad, I’d be happy with 70,” Chestnut answered, “but if things are going really, really good, that 77 number looks very doable.”
Chestnut previously spoke with TMZ regarding a fellow titan of the sports world, Tom Brady.
Despite the seven-time Super Bowl champ’s pedigree, Chestnut thinks he can grill him in an eating competition.
“I don’t know what he can out-eat me in,” Chestnut told the outlet. “It would be awesome to eat against him in any food.”
Chestnut has won the hot dog-eating contest in 14 of the last 15 years.
A man amongst boys.
The women’s division starts 10:45 a.m. (ET), while the men take the stage at 12 p.m.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela