Down defender Damien Rafferty has been forced to call time on his inter-county career having failed to overcome a persistent groin injury.
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The cornerback has announced that he will not play again for the Mournemen following advice from his surgeon.
Rafferty underwent surgery for the problem in February and was forced to miss the entire Allianz Football League campaign while he recovered.
Confirming his decision on Twitter Rafferty declared he’d “Have 2 join the trend of retirements on twitter. Surgeon told me 2 hang them up and look forward to 2 a life of aches and pains.”
Rafferty featured heavily in Down’s run to the All-Ireland final in 2010, and and his retirement is a further blow to Down manager James McCartan, who has a number of injury concerns ahead of the Ulster SFC semi-final against Monaghan on June 24th; forward Benny Coulter (ankle), Niall McParland (hand) and Dan Gordon (foot) are all unlikely to feature.