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Knee injury forces Cat Jared Rivers to retire

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Jared Rivers of the Cats in action during the 2015 AFL round ten match between the Essendon Bombers and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on June 6, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Another bout of knee surgery has forced Cat Jared Rivers to retire immediately

GEELONG defender Jared Rivers has announced his immediate retirement from AFL football after 194 games.

A torn meniscus that requires surgery forced the 30-year-old to tell his teammates of his decision on Monday morning. 

Rivers joined Geelong as a free agent at the end of the 2013 season after 150 games with Melbourne and was an excellent performer in 44 games despite battling a knee injury for much of his time at the Cats. 

He finished sixth in the Cats' best and fairest in 2014 and was a member of the Cats' 2013 team that lost the preliminary final by five points to Hawthorn.

Rivers told the club website he did not quite achieve what he hoped to at the Cats but he left with no regrets.

"I went there (Cats) to win a premiership, and I got close but didn't quite get there," he said.

"But to have the opportunity to play in a few finals and play alongside some great players at the Cats, I couldn't be happier. 

"I feel lucky to have played for the two oldest clubs in the competition. I couldn't have picked two better clubs to play footy for."

Rivers showed excellent form in the first half of 2015 before his knee tendinitis flared once again and he has played just two senior games since round 12.

Troublesome knee forces Rivers to make big call

Since that time, emerging youngster Jake Kolodjashnij has assumed the role Rivers performed so well for Geelong from mid-2013 until midway through this season, and cemented his place in the team. 

Melbourne drafted Rivers with pick No.26 in the 2002 NAB AFL Draft and he went on to win the Rising Star Award in 2004. 

He was second in the Demons' best and fairest in 2011 and was a popular figure at the club throughout his time. 

Cats' coach Chris Scott said Rivers had made a good contribution at Geelong. 

"Jared was hampered by injury in his time, but he pushed through that to help us win a lot of games. He was very strong in one-on-one contests and was very reliable for us," Scott said. 

"Jared is very popular with his team mates and the coaches and staff, and we wish him well post-footy." 

Rivers will continue with the club for the remainder of 2015 to develop skills as part of the Next Coach program he is completing in 2014.