Millwall key man should be available for Middlesbrough match – as boss explains knee injection process

Daniel Ballard is expected to be available for Millwall’s trip to Middlesbrough despite having an injection in his knee earlier this week.

The on-loan Arsenal defender came off with concussion in the 74th minute of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Derby County.
Ballard, 22, has not gone away on international duty with Northern Ireland.

“We’ve got four or five players that have this ongoing maintenance,” said Lions manager Gary Rowett. “This injection just puts a bit more lubrication into the knee joint and enables it to work more effectively.

“I’m probably not describing it particularly well from a medical point of view but that is essentially all it is.

“There isn’t a huge issue in there. He’s had the knee scanned and it’s fine. It’s the kind of maintenance that Jed [Wallace] has sometimes and that Sav [George Saville] is looking at having. Benik is the same.

“Dan’s no different. It’s the first time Dan has had it. He’s got through games really well but when you are a young player and keep getting a little bit of irritation, it’s nice to be able to find a chance to settle it down – which hopefully these two weeks, plus the little bit of a breather he had [not featuring in the squad against Reading] will allow him to do that.

“He has played a lot of games with the international matches as well. He’s played a lot more than most of the other lads and you’re always going to feel that in different parts of your body.”

Ballard was replaced against the Rams after complaining his vision was impaired.

“That settled down really quickly,” said Rowett. “The fourth official asked if we wanted to use a concussion sub as he could see quite clearly what had happened.”

Murray Wallace complained of a knee niggle after the Derby match.

“He got through the game okay but just felt a little bit of discomfort in one of the ligaments in his knee,” explained Rowett.

“We’ve had it scanned and it’s really, really minor.

“He’ll probably just need seven days off it, which again is good timing. If it wasn’t the international break you could miss three games.

“It certainly works a lot better that it came now.”



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