Southampton have been dealt a blow after learning that one of their teenage talents is ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a serious, long-term injury.
Southampton injury news
During Wednesday night’s 1-0 Championship victory over Bristol City, Russell Martin lost three players to injury in the form of Kamaldeen Sulemana, Alex McCarthy and Ross Stewart, so they could all be facing spells on the sidelines, but more significant news has emerged elsewhere regarding a youngster who is out on loan.
“He’ll come back…” – Journalist backs “class” Southampton ace to return
He is flourishing away from St Mary’s at the moment.
Over the summer, Dom Ballard put pen to paper on a season-long loan at Reading in League One and he’s been a regular feature of their starting line-up this season, but in one of their most recent fixtures, the striker suffered a horrific fitness setback.
England’s youth international was forced off the pitch on a stretcher whilst wearing an oxygen mask during Saturday’s 2-1 win against Wycombe Wanderers, and in a gutting update, the 18-year-old is now confirmed to have returned to the south coast to undergo immediate surgery following a serious leg injury.
Ruben Selles provides update on Dom Ballard
Speaking during a recent interview with the media, Reading manager Ruben Selles confirmed that Ballard is out for the season and that him and his coaching staff will work closely with Southampton to make his recovery as quick as possible. There is some “good news” however, with no damage to his knee ligaments.
“He broke his patella tendon. The good news, if there is anything good with that, is that there is no more damage on the knee so only the patella. He will have surgery and we are working with Southampton to prepare the next steps.
“He is a fantastic player and a fantastic boy. He will have a very good career and it is just a pity we can’t use him for the rest of the season because as you can see he is very important for us. We wish him a quick recovery and hopefully it can keep him in the game for the next 15 years. We will be here for anything he needs.”
Ballard’s absence will be a huge blow
Since the start of his career, Ballard has posted an outstanding 70 contributions, 58 goals and 12 assists, in 83 appearances, which shows how prolific he can be in the final third, so the fact that he isn’t likely to feature again at all this season is a massive blow for Southampton (Transfermarkt – Ballard statistics).
The St. Mary’s academy product is also capable of operating out wide on both the left and right flanks alongside his usual role leading the line through the middle as a centre-forward, so his versatility to provide cover in positions outside of his own makes him a great option for a manager to have at their disposal.
Despite only ever making four senior appearances for the red and white stripes, Martin will know that he’s capable of making an impact at senior level, so the club will be hoping that he is able to stage his comeback as soon as possible with the hopes of breaking into the Saints first-team next season.