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.