Daniel Ballard has suffered a suspected meniscus injury in his knee and has reportedly returned to Arsenal for treatment as he faces up to five months on the sidelines.

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Daniel Ballard of Arsenal applauds fans after the Checkatrade Trophy match between Portsmouth and Arsenal U21 at Fratton Park on December 04, 2018 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 04: Daniel Ballard of Arsenal applauds fans after the Checkatrade Trophy match between Portsmouth and Arsenal U21 at Fratton Park on December 04, 2018 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Ballard started Swindon Town’s 3-0 loss at the hands of Colchester United in the EFL Cup during the week, however the Arsenal youngster was not at fault for the manner of the defeat and, as you can read here, was actually one of the better players on the night, making a host of clearances while maintaining a high ball-retention rate.

Although not expected to start every league game for Swindon, the Northern Irish man must have thought he’d done enough to push himself into contention for a third start this weekend.

We’ve been told, however, by Swindon fan, @Fatbury, that the 19-year-old picked up a knee problem during theĀ  game and could now be facing some time on the sidelines with a suspected damaged meniscus.

It is also being reported that he has returned to Arsenal and faces up to five months in recovery:

This follows on from the announcement today (Friday) that William Saliba has undergone surgery and will be out for at least six weeks. You can read why that was necessary here.

Throughout the season we are working with a host of bloggers, officials and superfans of loan clubs to keep a far closer eye on Arsenal’s loanees than ever before. You can keep an eye yourself on our Loan Watch page.