Former Germany international Torsten Frings has announced his retirement from the game, after suffering ongoing problems with a hip injury.
The 36-year-old, who signed for Toronto in June 2011, had a club career that spanned 18 seasons and included spells with Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. He also earned 79 caps with Germany and played in two World Cups, helping his country to a place in the final of the 2002 tournament.
He also played on the German team that finished second at the 2008 Euros.
However, the midfielder, who is Toronto's current captain, left the team's pre-season camp in Florida earlier this month due to the injury and now says he will not return to action.
“During pre-season we discovered that my recovery would take longer than expected. I always want to do what’s best for the team and that is why I have decided to step away,” said Frings.
“I really enjoyed my time in Toronto and playing for Toronto FC. I wish the club all the best this season and hopefully they can continue to embrace the winning spirit that I brought to the team.”
The German defender signed with Toronto in the summer of 2011 and made 46 appearances for the team. He appeared in 20 matches last season but suffered a groin injury during the team’s run in the Concacaf Champions League.
“Everyone is sorry that Torsten will be unable to lead our team this year but the injury he had often requires a lengthy period of rehab, and that is the case here,” Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne said in a statement.
“We appreciate Torsten’s commitment to Toronto FC and are pleased he has agreed to work with us, particularly in Europe, on future projects. We part as the best of friends and wish him nothing but the best.”