MANILA, Philippines – Despite gaining extra recovery time amid the long NBA suspension, injured Portland Trail Blazers forward Rodney Hood dismissed the possibility of returning even if the season resumes.
Hood was forced to sit out out the rest of the season after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon last December 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I won’t put myself in that position,” Hood said during an online interview.
“I need to give myself time to heal and to get back to myself. If it was just a regular injury, that’s something different, but now I need to make sure I’ll get back right and not rush myself back.”
The Blazers forward is averaging 11 points per game along with 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 29.5 minutes per game and enjoying a career-best 49% three-point shooting before he got injured.
Hood said the league has allowed him to use the practice facilities for rehab and has been working with the team’s physical therapist Logan Sullivan.
“I’ve been working out with Logan 3 days a week,” Hood said. “It’s just one-on-one contact. We can’t be in group settings or nothing like that.”
“We’re getting a lot of work in. It’s been very good. I’ve been making a lot of progress, even with everything going on.”
But aside from the team staff working with him, Hood found motivation in his teammate Jusuf Nurkic, who broke his left tibia and fibula last season.
“I lean on Nurk a lot,” the forward said. “He was telling me to lean on him, that he will help me through anything that I needed to go through, and he’s been great, man.”
“He’s just a real motivation for me to watch and I’ll continue to lean on him until I get closer to that time (of return).”
Hood, who signed a two-year contract with a $6 million player option with the Trail Blazers last offseason, sees himself in Portland colors next season.
“One thing I know is that I’ll be in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform next year,” Hood said.
“As far as the contract and all that type of stuff, that will work itself out when that time comes, but I fully expect to be in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform next year.” – Rappler.com