Montross forced to retire because of broken bone in left foot

Updated: August 26, 2003, 5:13 PM ET

TORONTO -- Toronto Raptors center Eric Montross is retiring because of a lingering foot injury.

Montross hasn't played since breaking a bone in his left foot while stepping over a child safety gate at his home in the spring of 2002.

"Not everyone has a story book ending," the 7-foot, 270-pound Montross said Tuesday. "It was something everybody would do. It was just a step, not a misstep or a fall or a twist."

Montross has been to nine specialists, but none of them have been able to alleviate the pain he feels every time he takes a step.

"There are a couple chips that are obscured by what's called a spring ligament," Montross said. "It just happens to be in the absolute worse place that you can have it. They can't get through to it. You mess with the spring ligament and you're out for at least a year due to that rehab."

The likelihood of him returning after that kind of surgery was less than a flip of a coin, he said. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery in an effort to relieve the pain.

"It doesn't deal with why I won't be able to play, but it might be able to deal with the day-to-day ability to be pain free and right now I'm not," Montross said.

The 31-year-old Montross averaged 4.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in eight NBA seasons.

Montross played with six teams in the NBA -- Boston, Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit and Toronto.

He said his favorite moment came in his first game in the Boston Garden when he when up against Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks.

He enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the North Carolina and helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA Championship in his junior season.

Montross has two years left on his contract, which will be covered by insurance. Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald said he expects his salary will come off the cap next April.

The Raptors offered Montross a job in the organization, but Montross said he needed time to think about his future. He said he could see himself coaching high school basketball one day.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index