Bullard calls time on career
Former Fulham and Wigan Athletic midfielder Jimmy Bullard has announced his retirement after conceding defeat in his battle to recover from a series of knee problems.
Bullard had never fully recovered from rupturing the cruciate ligaments in his knee twice in three years while playing for Fulham and then Hull City.
The 33-year-old made just two appearances for Milton Keynes Dons this season and has opted to call an end to his 14-year career after another downbeat assessment from a consultant last week.
"My old knee injury has never allowed me to get back to where I want to be as a football player - it's always hindered me," Bullard said. "There are a lot of games in this league and I now know my knee won't allow me to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday, it's not built for that now.
"I want to be out there playing but at the same time I know my knee won't allow me to play at my best and to keep my place in the team. I'm hindering myself more than I am helping myself for the future.
"In the summer I knew I wanted to give it one last crack and show people what I could do. My head tells me I can do it, but my body tells me, no, Jim, you can't."
London-born Bullard helped Wigan reach the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2005. He also played a key role in their appearance in the 2006 League Cup final, which ended in defeat against Manchester United, before joining Fulham in a £2.5million deal.
But he made only 40 appearances in three years at Fulham due to a knee injury. A £5million move to Hull followed in January 2009, but once again he was hit by severe knee problems that left him on the sidelines for nine months.