Sidelined by a broken leg, Penrith veteran Brent Kite has revealed an ongoing shoulder complaint finally forced him into NRL retirement.
A gutted Kite, 34, on Friday called time on his 13-year, 313 game career, saying he risked “pretty permanent damage” to his shoulder if he played on.
“The injuries caught up with me,” he told the Panthers website.
“It’s sad to be going out this way but I had a really good career and a good run until now.”
It capped an impressive feat in longevity by Kite who played mostly in the game’s brutal front line at prop.
He had announced in March that 2015 would be his last season.
But Kite found it difficult that he was not ending the year on his terms.
Kite said he had not been disheartened by his broken leg suffered in April, however was finally broken by his troublesome shoulder.
“When I broke my leg I was still keen to go on,” Kite said.
“It was the shoulder in the end that was too worn out to risk playing on and doing some pretty permanent damage.
“In saying that I am really regretful that I didn’t finish off better and play a full year here at Penrith, a club that has been very good to me and my family.
“I’m a bit sorry to the fans and all the people around the Panthers that I couldn’t finish in better style.”
Kite made his NRL debut in 2002 for the Dragons, enjoyed premiership glory with Manly in 2008, winning the Clive Churchill Medal in the grand final and played his final two seasons with Penrith.
He is equal 14th on the all-time NRL games played list.
He also played 14 Tests for Australia and 10 Origins for NSW.