Injuries not behind retirement plans, says Rolfes

Bayer Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes insists previous injuries played no part in his decision to retire at the end of the season.

The midfielder, who turns 33 next month, announced earlier this month his decision to call time on his playing career at the conclusion of the campaign, after 10 years at Leverkusen

Rolfes, capped 26 times by Germany, sustained a serious knee injury that ruled him out of contention for the 2010 World Cup, while he was troubled by an ankle complaint earlier this term.

However, the Leverkusen skipper stated that past injuries are not the reason for him hanging up his boots and that his decision is influenced by a desire to bow out at the top.

"No, I would not say that [injuries are the reason for retiring]. I am fighting fit," he told "But I always knew that I did not want to exhaust the last of my health.

"I have always wanted to play until the last day of my career at the top level. Now is the right time to quit."

Rolfes has failed to collect silverware during his time with Leverkusen, with a runners-up medal in the DFB-Pokal in 2009 the closest he has come to honours with the club.

However, he still retains hope of one last challenge for medals before he retires.

"I have never regretted that I played for Bayer so long," he added. 

"It would have been wonderful if I could have won a title with Bayer. But who knows, maybe it will work yet this season."