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Latest knee injury the last straw for the Fire’s Cory Gibbs, who retires

Chicago Fire Vs PhiladelphiUnion. Saturday Chicago Fire No.5 Cory Gibbs reacts  foul call against PhiladelphiUniNo.10 Danny Mwanga. March 24

Chicago Fire Vs Philadelphia Union. Saturday, Chicago Fire No.5 Cory Gibbs reacts to a foul call against Philadelphia Union No.10 Danny Mwanga. March 24, 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 28, 2012 6:26AM

The Fire’s Cory Gibbs has suffered a number of knee injuries throughout his soccer career. Despite those setbacks, he managed to become a celebrated American defender.

So when Gibbs, 32, tore his meniscus in training April 4 and underwent surgery six days later, he believed he had at least a couple more years left.

But setbacks throughout the summer caused doctors to advise him recently to end his career. Gibbs will announce his retirement Monday, and he will pursue work as a coach or scout, likely in MLS.

“It was just one of those decisions I had to make when I wasn’t progressing through my rehab stage, and they just basically told me there was way too much damage in my knee to continue,” Gibbs said. “I had to make that decision to move on and go on to a new venture in my life.”

Gibbs played two seasons with the Fire and had notable stints in the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Dutch Eredivisie.

He was a highly regarded member of the U.S. national team, but injuries prevented him from reaching his full potential as an international player. Gibbs was on the roster for the 2006 World Cup but suffered an injury similar to the one that ended his career in a friendly against Morocco the week before the tournament began. Because of injury, he played in only 19 matches for the United States.

Gibbs said in a phone interview that he has had conversations with the Fire about returning as a member of its soccer operations department, but nothing is imminent.

“We both share interest,” Gibbs said.

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