Dec. 11, 2019.
A lot has happened since then.
A lot has happened in the Trail Blazers world and in the world in general.
But for Trail Blazers veteran wing Rodney Hood, that date was the start of his new world.
The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Dec. 11, that Hood had undergone successful surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon.
The surgery was performed at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.
It was on December 6th during the Blazers' loss to the Lakers when Hood suffered the injury at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter.
The past four months for Hood have been long, but at the same time, it’s as if time is moving fast for the six-year veteran.
“I’ve been making a lot of progress even with everything going on,” Hood said. “I feel great. I feel great in the spot that I’m in. I just passed, I think, four months post surgery, so I’m moving along well…. I’m jumping a little bit in the pool, moving around a little bit, so I’m getting there. I’m working myself to being weight-bearing to where I can do more explosive things, but I’m moving along fine, trying to be patient with it, but it’s been good so far.”
The timeline of his progress gets a bit fuzzy for Hood with the four months feeling more like a year.
“I get the timeline mixed up all the time. It seems like it’s been like a year ago since I got hurt,” Hood said. “The process has been so long. I looked up and it’s only been four months. It’s like time is going by really, really slow, but fast at the same time.”
Hood stayed in Los Angeles for ten days after the surgery. When he got back up to Portland, the cast remained on his left foot for about two to three weeks before having to wear a boot while using crutches for another two or three weeks.
After reaching the milestone of walking with just the boot, Hood’s next milestone of walking with no boot got pushed back a few weeks. He still had pain in his foot when walking with no boot, so in order to not have any other setbacks, Hood was in the walking boot for a couple more weeks than expected.
“Everything is like a three or four week period.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic had the sports world come to a complete stop, Hood was going to the Trail Blazers’ practice facility six times a week for rehab. But now since the NBA suspended play, and then a few days later shutdown all the teams’ training facility, Hood is allowed to use the practice facility for his rehab three days a week.
Hood along with Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic are the only ones allowed to enter the practice facility in order to ensure they are keeping up with their rehab and treatment.
“We do take our temperature every time we go into the building,” Hood added.
Both Director of Player Health and Performance Jesse Elis and Physical Therapist/Sports Scientist Logan Sullivan have been working with Hood individually while at the practice facility either in the weight room or training room.
Hood starts his rehab days at 8:00am, which he said consists of “Weight lifting, working on my Achilles… On Wednesdays we usually do the pool… Other days we do a bunch of upper body and lower body and make sure I’m staying in shape as well as working on my Achilles.
Be sure to check out this week’s Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with former Portland Trail Blazer Travis Outlaw:
In 21 games played, Hood averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 29.5 minutes per game.
He was having one of the best seasons of his career.
His shooting percentage (50.6%), along with his three-point shooting percentage (49.3%) and rebounding average were all career highs.
After Hood accomplished his goal of not needing to wear the boot on his left foot, he had it in his mind that he would be back to some type of basketball activity in mid-June and this fall to be playing ball again.
I started aiming for the beginning of training camp that was supposed to be like September or whenever next year’s training camp was going to be, but now with the talks of pushing next season back… It’s kind of messing with my mind a little bit. I want to continue to try to set small goals for myself, like I want to shoot to try to be on the court by mid-June so I’m able to workout and stuff. So, that’s still my goal regardless of what happens with the season. -- Trail Blazers veteran wing Rodney Hood
But all in all, the NBA suspension hasn’t changed Hood’s way of life too much. He was already staying home more often while rehabbing his injury.
Hood preached that he knows how important it is to keep his body right and not try and push it especially while he is still at the early stages of his rehab.
“I miss the game like crazy. At home I’m always dribbling a basketball, watching basketball, I’m very motivated to get back to being out there on the court…
As bad as I want to, I want to skip steps, I want to be on the court right now, but as long as I continue to do what I gotta do, I want to be on the court and doing stuff by June.”