Kurt Tippett's AFL retirement came as no surprise to Sydney coach John Longmire because the issue was discussed last year as the big forward's injury struggles continued.
Tippett, 30, quit on Monday after battling persistent hamstring, hip, and ankle problems over the past two years.
He underwent an ankle reconstruction after last season.
The former Adelaide star's decision to finish on 178 games and 325 goals was met with shock amid expectations a return to fitness would see him back in the Swans' best 22 as a ruckman/forward.
But Longmire said while Swans players were initially surprised, they understood the writing was on the wall for Tippett.
"We understood it was on the radar at the end of last year," he said.
"It's a big decision for anyone to make and just going through that whole rehab process again, getting to the line again.
"People probably don't understand how tough it was for him last year.
"We had a bit of a discussion about it last year when he had his ankle reconstruction."
Longmire said it was unlikely the Swans would look to recruit a replacement ruckman, with Sam Naismith, Callum Sinclair and Darcy Cameron able to fill the role.
Tippett, who joined the Swans from the Crows in 2013, was Sydney's leading goal kicker in his first season and played 74 games in four seasons with the Swans.
"(There will be) a mixture of relief and emotion of missing something you like doing," Longmire said.
"He'll be able to move on fine.
"It's taken some time to come to that decision."