Having been told to never play a contact sport again, Adelaide defender Brent Reilly has retired from the AFL, three months after fracturing his skull in a training accident.
Reilly, 31, played 203 games for the Crows in a career lasting more than a decade.
He will spend the remainder of the 2015 season mentoring the younger Adelaide players.
“My medical team have told me that given the impact of the accident and subsequent surgery that they are unanimous in their recommendation that I never again play a contact sport,” he said in Wednesday.
“My sole focus at this time is recovery and resuming living a normal life.
“While this is still some months away, clearly I will not be in a position to play football again.
“Therefore it is time to look forward and begin to plan the next phase of my life.”
Reilly had been a mainstay of the Adelaide line-up for more than a decade, having joined the club as the No.12 pick in the 2001 national draft.
“The Adelaide football club has nurtured my growth from an 18-year-old boy who moved here from Victoria to a man in his 30s who now calls Adelaide home,” he said in a statement.
“From playing finals footy to just experiencing the day-to-day camaraderie for 14 years, by any measure I have had a great ride.”
Crows head of football David Noble paid tribute to Reilly’s contribution to the club.
“Brent has been able to evolve with the changing face of the game and the fact he leaves it as a one-club player is an achievement in itself,” he said.
“He has made an outstanding contribution to our club both on and off the field and there is no doubt he has made the most of his talent.”
Reilly suffered what turned out to a career-ending injury at a training session in early February.
His skull was fractured in several places after he was accidentally kneed in the head by a teammate.
THE PLAYING LIFE OF REILLY
* Recruited from Calder Cannons with pick 12 in the 2001 national draft
* Adelaide FC life member
* Member of 2003 and 2012 pre-season premiership teams
* All-Australian nominee in 2012