North Queensland co-captain Michael Morgan has decided to call-time on his career.

Morgan has long battled a chronic shoulder issue that has kept him off the field, with the 29-year-old officially announcing his retirement on Friday.

The Cowboys half made his NRL debut with North Queensland in 2010 and has gone on to play 168 league games, including the 2015 Grand Final victory over Brisbane.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Michael Morgan of the Cowboys makes a break during the round 24 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on August 23, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

It is understood that Morgan has notified his teammates of his decision to hang up the boots with two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

Having been medically retired, the Cowboys would not be forced to budget the $2.5 million payout as part of their salary cap.

Morgan's shoulder complaint did leave open the risk of returning, but the Cowboys veteran is now tipped to undergo surgery in hope of eliminating the ongoing pain.

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Morgan played a total of 12 games for Queensland in State of Origin and another dozen for Australia during his 12-year career in rugby league.

Speaking on the club website, Morgan said he was proud of the accomplishments and efforts he made during his career, but was sad to call-time on his career.

“This is not the way I envisioned my career finishing, but I’m retiring knowing I gave myself every opportunity over the last 12 months for my shoulder to be strong enough to continue playing. Unfortunately, the end result was out of my control,” Morgan said.

“Even though I’m hanging up the boots at 29, I’m extremely proud of everything I achieved over the course of 12 seasons as an NRL player.

“As someone who was born and raised in Townsville, the opportunity to join the Cowboys as a 16-year-old was fulfilling a life-long dream and I’m grateful for every moment at this great club.

“Listing every person who contributed to my career would be impossible, but to all my teammates, coaches, everyone who supported me throughout my career, including Cowboys members and fans and most importantly my family – thank you.”