Familiar sight: Tom Williams leaves the ground hurt.

Familiar sight: Tom Williams leaves the ground hurt. Photo: Getty Images

MELBOURNE  Injury-plagued Western Bulldogs defender Tom Williams has announced his immediate retirement from the AFL.

The 27-year-old has played 85 games for the club since being picked up in the 2004 draft.

His decision followed another injury setback, this time to his hamstring, while playing in the VFL on Sunday.

Tom Williams.

Tom Williams. Photo: Pat Scala

"I am proud of my career, and although it was met with some frustrating periods with injury, I can take away countless positives," Williams said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I thank the club, my teammates and our supporters for their patience and support over the years and I look forward to seeing the exciting future of the Western Bulldogs unfold."

The Bulldogs general manager of football, Graham Lowe, said Williams was an extremely popular and respected teammate and wished him well for the future.

"The attitude shown to his football has been exemplary, particularly through periods of injury rehabilitation - and his leadership to our developing team has been invaluable," he said.

AAP