DEFENDER Dominic Ball is unlikely to return to Rotherham United in the January transfer window, despite the disappointment of barely playing at loan club Aberdeen.
Ball moved to the Dons on a season-long loan in the summer but has struggled for regular minutes at the Scottish Premiership side, making just two starts and four appearances in total.
Signed by Alan Stubbs over a year ago, Ball has now played for two sides this campaign, and under Football League rules that is the maximum amount of teams a player can turn out for in any one season.
And Millers assistant manager Richie Barker says conversations have taken place about at 22-year-old former Tottenham youngster, but he can’t see him returning to South Yorkshire this term.
Barker told the Advertiser: “We’ve had a conversation about Dom Ball. At the moment, I can’t see any reason why he won’t be playing for Aberdeen after Christmas.
Assistant boss Richie Barker
“I don’t think he has played as much football as he would have liked or as we would have liked.
“The unfortunate thing now is that because he played for us before he went and now he’s played at Aberdeen, you can only play for two clubs in a season.
“What that means is he either plays for Aberdeen or he plays for us, so there will be no opportunity for him to go anywhere else, which I think isn’t one of the greatest rules around.
“He could get a move to Barcelona and and he can’t go.
“That’s added an extra complication to it.”
Despite Rotherham’s plans to keep Ball north of the border for the whole of the season, Barker did concede that situations can develop quickly in football, and Rotherham will be prepared if that’s the case.
He added: “You just don’t know. Things can change. If we pick up any injuries or can’t get someone else in then maybe we will have to call him back.”
The Millers will be without Darren Potter and Jon Taylor for tomorrow's clash with Plymouth at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, but are hopeful about the returns of skipper Lee Frecklington from illness and Joe Newell.
Defender Joe Mattock is rated as 50/50 after coming off in last weekend's win at Blackpool, while former Pilgrim Ben Purrington is in contention to make his return ffrom a long-standing hamstring problem.
Pick up today's 24-page sports pull-out free in this week's Advertiser to read Richie Barker's view on the Jerry Yates and David Ball partnership, Lee Frecklington's 'Tiser column and a two-page preview of tomorrow's game.