Daniel Ballard would have made his return from injury in the senior Millwall squad on Saturday, if the game hadn’t been called off.
Just 42 minutes before Millwall’s away clash with Blackburn Rovers was due to take place, the club announced that the referee had decided to postpone the game due to the poor condition of the pitch – following severe weather.
The decision was made so late that Millwall had already confirmed their squad for the match, with Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard making the bench.
It would have been Ballard’s first appearance in a senior squad for a competitive fixture since November, when the centre-back played 90 minutes against Hull City.
Days after that match, Millwall posted that Ballard had to undergo knee surgery, and they ruled him out until March. Fortunately, the 22-year-old has made it back fit ahead of schedule, albeit for a postponed match.
Ballard has already spent some time back out on the pitch since recovering, completing 45 minutes playing for the Millwall u23s against Ipswich Town. But he’s yet to play any part for the senior side.
Ballard had played more minutes than any other Arsenal player (loan or otherwise) before his injury, making 21 appearances for Millwall in all competitions.
He’d also made four appearances for Northern Ireland on international duty over the same period.
Millwall will be glad to have him back, and Arsenal will hope the defender can finish the season strongly to continue his impressive progress season-on-season.