PORT Adelaide midfielder and former Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff has called time on his AFL career.
The 31-year-old informed teammates on Tuesday morning that he would be retiring, effective immediately, after a brutal run of injuries this season.
WHO'S CALLED IT QUITS 2021's retirements and delistings
Rockliff was restricted to a wheelchair in early May following surgery on both knees after landing awkwardly in a marking contest while playing SANFL.
Just a week later he was hospitalised and diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis after reporting acute onset of calf pain and found multiple blood clots on his lungs.
“I spoke with the specialist and the clot is still there. They can’t guarantee it’ll go away and if you get hit where that clot is, it can transport up to your lungs, so the risk factor was too high and it’s not really worth risking your life over,” Rockliff said.
“It is the best thing in the end for me to call time on my career. The people I have spoken to have celebrated with me but there have been a few tears shed. It’s been emotional but also the right thing to do.
Rockliff managed two AFL games to start this season and finishes his career with 208 matches to his name, including 54 at the Power and 154 with the Lions.
He will continue this season in a coaching capacity at Alberton as the Power push for a top-four finish.
Drafted by Brisbane with pick No.5 in the 2009 pre-season draft, Rockliff quickly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the competition.
In 2011, and with just 40 games of experience under his belt, he won the Lions' best and fairest in his third season.
After an All-Australian and best and fairest campaign in 2014 where he averaged 32.7 disposals, Rockliff was appointed Lions captain for 2015 and 2016.
He moved to Port Adelaide as a restricted free agent at the end of 2017, netting the Lions an end-of-first-round compensation pick.
The Benalla product had a slow introduction to his time with the Power in 2018 but finished seventh in the club best and fairest in 2019.
He was a key player in the Power's minor premiership last year and collected 20 disposals as they lost to eventual premiers Richmond in the preliminary final.