Torsten Frings is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his part in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Toronto FC captain Torsten Frings has announced his retirement after an 18-year career, citing a slow recovery from hip surgery.

The 36-year-old former German international's hip injury cut short his MLS season last September. He made one preseason appearance as a substitute this month before leaving camp to attend to what the team called a personal issue.

Frings says in a statement Tuesday that the slow recovery helped him decide "to step away.''

Toronto signed Brazilian veteran Julio Cesar, a defensive midfielder, in the offseason.

Frings played only 33 games for Toronto, scoring two goals. The team finished on a 14-game winless streak last season.

His $2.4 million salary was the highest for a Toronto player in 2012, with $350,000 counting against the cap.

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