Former Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard’s injury misfortunes are continuing, following his departure to Sunderland, breaking his foot at the weekend.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND: Sunderland player Dan Ballard (l) challenges Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres during the Sky Bet Championship between Sunderland and Coventry City at Stadium of Light on July 31, 2022. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND: Sunderland player Dan Ballard (l) challenges Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres during the Sky Bet Championship between Sunderland and Coventry City at Stadium of Light on July 31, 2022. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Arsenal completed the sale of Daniel Ballard to Sunderland this summer, following the centre-back’s loans out to various English Football League clubs over the last few years.

After a couple of positive early performances for his new side, Ballard was withdrawn just nine minutes into his third game for the club on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Sunderland have confirmed the 22-year-old has a fracture in his foot, set to keep him out of action for the “foreseeable future”, with head coach Alex Neil unwilling to put a timeframe on the injury.

“We have a few other scans to undertake – and a couple of specialists to see – to fully understand the severity of it, but that process is underway to ensure he then receives the necessary treatment to get him back as soon as we can,” Neil said.

“It is disappointing for Dan and it is disappointing for us, as he has been a great signing show far, albeit we have only played a few games, and showed real promise and potential.

“It is a setback for Dan, but equally he will come back and hopefully be stronger for it.”

Northern Ireland's defender Daniel Ballard controls the ball during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification football match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at the Stade de Geneve, in Geneva on October 9, 2021. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Northern Ireland’s defender Daniel Ballard controls the ball during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification football match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at the Stade de Geneve, in Geneva on October 9, 2021. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Ballard is clearly a talented young defender, but the biggest question mark over his career remains his injury record.

During his first loan spell to Swindon Town, Ballard picked up a season-ending knee injury on August 13th – coincidentally exactly three years before his latest injury on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland international was in and out of the Blackpool team the next year with a few minor fitness concerns, before mid-season knee surgery kept him out for three months during his most recent loan to Millwall.

Ballard’s pursuit of an injury-free campaign evidently won’t end this year, but the good news is that he’s always come back strong in the past.

There’s no reason to believe he can’t do the same again now.

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