North Queensland Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein

Acting on medical advice, North Queensland Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein has retired from the NRL effective immediately.

Battling a knee injury for much of his career, the decision comes after increased pain and movement in the joint itself.

After undergoing further scans, Winterstein took the advice of medical staff and opted to retire.

He did so in the interests of his long-term health but the retiring winger praised the Cowboys club for what they had done for him.

“First of all, I would like to sincerely thank the North Queensland community for accepting me with open arms,” Winterstein said.

“Since the day my family and I arrived, this has felt like home.

“You have supported me through the good times and the bad and this place will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Joining the club in 2011, Winterstein quickly established himself on the left wing at the club.

In four seasons from 2013-2016, the Samoan international enjoyed a purple patch that saw him score 58 tries.

He was a key figure in the Cowboys’ maiden premiership success in 2015 and will end  his career as the club’s fifth most prolific try-scorer.

Winterstein thanked the members, the club, the staff and his team-mates for everything they had done for him.

“To all the Cowboys members, fans and partners, I truly believe you are the best supporters in the NRL,” the winger said.

“Thank you for playing such a major part in making the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys the club it is today.

“Finally, to my teammates and the staff at the Cowboys, I cannot thank you enough for making my time at the club such a special experience.”

 

By ricky

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