Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard was forced off in Millwall’s game against Derby this weekend through a concussion substitution.

Daniel Ballard showing off his new bruise ahead of Millwall's match (Photo via Millwall on Twitter)
Daniel Ballard ahead of a Millwall match (Photo via Millwall on Twitter)

22-year-old Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard made his 16th Championship start of the season on Saturday, featuring in the Millwall lineup to face Derby County at home.

With just over 15 minutes to go and the scores level at 1-1, there was concern for Ballard as he was forced off injured. Arsenal fans will have been following updates nervously, given the centre-back’s history with a previous serious knee injury.

But the problem was nothing to do with a muscle or ligament tear this time, as Millwall confirmed that Ballard had been withdrawn as a concussion substitute.

“We brought him (Ballard) off as a concussion sub,” Gary Rowett said afterwards. “We’ll see how he goes.”

No injury is ever good news, but a mild concussion should at least allow Ballard to return to action sooner rather than later. He may not even miss a match, with the international break delaying Millwall’s next fixture until November 20th.

The concern is more for Northern Ireland, who won’t want to lose a defender who has been starting for them regularly over recent international breaks. Ballard has started their last five World Cup qualifiers, but a concussion would rule him out this time.

It’s a shame for Ballard’s momentum to be disrupted at all, given how well his loan is going. Arsenal are reportedly set to trigger an extension in his contract as a result of his recent form.