Daniel Ballard could join Omar Rekik in withdrawing from international duty through injury, according to a report.
But it looks like they both may end up missing out on the week’s fixtures.
After picking up an injury with the Arsenal u21s, Rekik has already withdrawn from international duty with Tunisia.
The centre-back hobbled off during Arsenal’s EFL Trophy draw with Plymouth Argyle, and there’s no word on a timeframe for his comeback yet.
As for Ballard, he hasn’t officially withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad, but it’s looking more and more likely.
For a start, the defender was forced off through a concussion sub at the weekend. Then Millwall manager Gary Rowett revealed he was set to have a knee injection this week anyway, which was why he missed a game last week.
“I don’t know (if Ballard will join up with Northern Ireland), he was due to have an injection in his knee on Monday or Tuesday anyway,” Rowett said.
“I think there was a doubt whether he would go because he’s had an issue with his knee, that’s why I left him out Tuesday [against Reading].
“He shouted over to the bench that he couldn’t see (in the match at the weekend). I think he had a clash of heads with [Lee] Buchanan, a clash of heads on a header from a long ball.
“We brought him off and made a concussion sub. We’ll see how he is over the next week.”
It doesn’t sound like either problem is likely to keep Ballard out for the long term, but his participation over the November international break is certainly in doubt.
As an Arsenal fan, I’d very much like to see them making the sensible decision and giving the 22-year-old a rest.