The 26-year-old will miss this weekend's Tyne-Wear derby after receiving his 10th booking of the season for a tackle on Ba during the Black Cats' 2-1 defeat to the Blues.
"It's not the start that I wanted, but it's not a yellow card," Gardner told The Journal. "It was a fair tackle. He's just rolled around and forced the booking.
"I'll be involved on the training pitch, I'll be in the tunnel before the game, geeing every one of our lads up. I can assure the fans I'll get the team up for it, I'll be right behind every player on Sunday."
Gardner is suspended for two matches.