‘Never known anything like it’ – on loan Arsenal defender ninth Millwall casualty this season

GARY Rowett said he’s “never known anything like it in all my time in football” after Daniel Ballard became the eighth player to join Millwall’s injury and illness list just seven league games into the season.

Ballard was forced off with an eye injury in the 70th minute of the 0-0 draw at Swansea on Wednesday night and went to hospital to get it checked out.

The on-loan Arsenal defender could now be a doubt to face Coventry at The Den on Saturday.

So far this season, Danny McNamara, Shaun Hutchinson, Ryan Leonard, Mason Bennett, Benik Afobe and George Evans have all missed at least two games through injury. Jake Cooper was out for one league game with a back injury.

Hutchinson is back in training and has a chance of facing the Sky Blues.

Sheyi Ojo missed the game against the Swans, with Rowett saying it was through illness but not giving any more details.

Leonard came on for Ballard on Wednesday and could start in defence on Saturday if his team-mate doesn’t recover.

“It’s a bad cut over his eye, it swelled up and I don’t think he could see out of it,” Rowett said. “There’s no concussion or anything, but I think he’s gone to hospital to get it looked at.

“I’ll be really honest, I’ve never known anything like it in all my time in football. I’ve never known so many injuries. I’ve never known so many illnesses, shall I say.

“And it just seems that every time someone comes back we lose two more. Every time another two come back we lose three more. It’s been hard work.

“But, you know, no one’s complained. We’ve just tried to get on with it, tried to do the best we can and pick up points and results.

“The last four games have certainly been more positive. What we’ve got to try to do is start putting in performances in our home games to see if we can win them and make the little run of games that we’ve had look like a very good run of games.”

Image: Millwall FC