Darlington defender Paddy Almond set for brain surgery after serious head injury

Darlington defender Paddy Almond was due to have brain surgery after sustaining a serious head injury in Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat at Southend.

Almond, 20, was taken to Southend General Hospital and later Royal London Hospital after being forced out of Darlington’s 2-1 defeat.

He was scheduled for surgery on Sunday morning to relieve pressure on his brain after having a second scan.

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The centre-half had only returned to action in November after sustaining a serious head injury last summer in a car accident in Manchester.

Darlington said in a statement: “On his arrival at the Royal London Hospital at around midnight Saturday, Paddy had a second brain scan and is due to have an operation to relieve the pressure on his brain some time (on Sunday) morning.

“Everybody at Darlington FC and the world of football is keeping him in our thoughts and hoping that he makes a swift recovery. He was able to hold conversations with our physio, Danny O’Connor last night, which hopefully is a good sign.

“We would like to thank Danny who did so much to help Paddy on the field, in the changing room and in the two hospitals.

“We wish him a safe journey back up from London. We understand that Paddy’s parents are on their way to London to be with Paddy.”

Darlington also thanked Southend’s medical staff, the NHS ambulance staff and doctors at both Southend General Hospital and Royal London Hospital for their help.

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Almond progressed through Sunderland’s academy and left the club at the end of last season.

He joined National League North side Darlington on a dual-registration basis from Northern Premier League side ShildOn last month.

He had been sidelined for over four months due to head injuries sustained in a car accident as a rear-seat passenger in June.