NICKY Hunt has left hospital this morning after a major injury scare during a game between Darlington and Boston United last night.

The former Accrington defender was treated on the pitch for 90 minutes, forcing the abandonment of the National League North fixture, following a collision with opposing player Joe Leesley.

Local reports had initially said there was concern the 37-year-old had suffered spinal damage but it has been confirmed this morning that Hunt has left hospital “groggy” but otherwise not seriously harmed.

It is understood Hunt is now back at home with family and was unconscious for a prolonged period as he waited for an ambulance at Blackwell Meadows.

The defender will be out of action for a few weeks but news that the serious injury first feared will come as a relief to many football fans up and down the country.

Former Bolton full back Hunt, who also played for the likes of Bristol City, Preston, Notts County and Crewe, signed for Darlington this summer.

He made 80 appearances in all for Stanley between 2013 and 2015, first joining on loan before making the move permanently. 

The Quakers issued an update this morning on their official website.

"We are pleased to inform everyone that following a scan on his head and neck at North Tees Hospital early this morning, Nicky has been given the all-clear.

"He was released from hospital at around 5am, and he returned home to rest with his family.

"Once again, we would like to thank the physios from both Darlington and Boston who gave Nicky so much care and attention on the field, their professionalism prevented the situation from getting even worse, and also to the medical staff for their attention.

"We would also like to thank everyone from across the football spectrum for sending their best wishes to Nicky."