Injuries have prematurely ended the career of Brisbane Lions vice captain Josh Drummond as the 29-year-old defender announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Drummond told the Lions website that after playing 94 senior games over nine seasons, he could not put his body through another AFL campaign.
Repeated soft tissue injuries following a knee reconstruction in 2010 limited Drummond to 15 matches this year.
"It's a tough decision because I love footy so much and I love being a part of the Brisbane Lions, but I had to accept that I just can't do it anymore," Drummond said.
"I didn't want to be a burden on the club and I had to start thinking about life after football.
"I would have loved to play on because I sense the club is on the verge of some really exciting times, but I would have been asking too much of my body to try to go through it all again."
Lions coach and ex-team-mate Michael Voss said Drummond had made a huge impact at the Lions over the past decade.
"Drummo showed total commitment to this club during his entire career and his value on the park was unquestionable - he possessed one of the best kicks I've ever seen," Voss said.
"His progression from the rookie list to the senior list - then to be a part of our leadership group - it's a great success story for football in Queensland and something a lot of young players in this state should take inspiration from."He completely invested in the regeneration of the culture of this football club and he will be sorely missed. Our players are going to need to pick up where he left off."