Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has shocked the NFL by announcing his decision to retire from American football.
The 29-year-old played seven seasons in the league after being taken by the Colts with the first pick of the 2012 draft. He was last season's Comeback Player of the Year.
"This isn't how I envisioned this or planned this, but I am going to retire," Luck said at a press conference.
"This is not an easy decision. It's the hardest decision of my life but it is the right decision for me.
"For the last four years, I've been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury. It's been unceasing and unrelenting - both in-season and off-season. I felt stuck in it and the only way out was to no longer play football. It's taken my joy of this game away.
"I've been stuck in this process, I haven't been able to live the life I want to live.
"After 2016, where I played in pain and was unable to regularly practice, I made a vow to myself that I would not go down that path again. I found myself in a similar situation and the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football and this cycle I've been in.
"I've come to the proverbial fork in the road and I've made a vow to myself that if I ever did again, I would choose me in a sense.
"It's very difficult. I love this team, I love my teammates."