Toronto FC captain Torsten Frings has announced his retirement.
The 36-year-old German national was recovering from off-season surgery on his left hip but had spoken of rounding into match form in time for one final MLS season. Frings left the club Feb 15 and confirmed his retirement Tuesday morning.
“During preseason we discovered that my recovery would take longer than expected,” Frings said in a release. “I always want to do what’s best for the team and that is why I have decided to step away.”
“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.”
Frings made 46 appearances with TFC, scored two goals and recorded three assists with the club. He was named the team’s fourth captain in August.
While he made one appearance in training camp, reports surfaced last week that it could take three months for a full rehabilitation of Frings’ injured hip.
“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 release.
“We appreciate Torsten’s commitment to Toronto FC and are pleased he has agreed to work with us, particularly in Europe, on future projects,” Payne said. “We part as the best of friends and wish him nothing but the best.”
Frings’ departure leaves Danny Koevermans as the club’s only DP. The 34-year-old Koevermans is recovering from off-season ACL surgery and won’t be immediately available to the team. Payne traded DP Eric Hassli to Dallas for a second-round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft, Feb 4.
Frings has been pegged as a future coach in Germany.
The role of holding midfielder will likely be assumed by 34-year-old Brazilian Julio Cesar.
Frings earned 79 caps for Germany in his career and played in two World Cups including Germany’s run to the 2002 final.