It wasn't as special as one would've hoped or thought it would be a year ago.
But it was still great to see the Trail Blazers veteran return to the court.
Despite zero fans in attendance to cheer on Trail Blazers wing Rodney Hood in his triumphant return from a torn Achilles, Hood played his first NBA minutes in over a year Sunday.
It was on Dec. 6, 2019 when fans sat in silence after witnessing Hood go down with a non-contact injury.
The fear of a serious injury filled the Moda Center that night.
But Sunday was different -- in many ways.
Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said it best:
“It’s been a year and he’s been through a long process. I was just glad to see him out there… That was a positive for him and for us.”
“It was great,” was Hood’s initial response to the media after making his debut after suffering a torn left Achilles.
With no fans at Moda Center to reverse that troublesome feeling from last Dec., Hood subbed in at the 5:17 mark of the first quarter for Jusuf Nurkic, who had also made his Moda Center return Sunday.
Nurkic had not played in Portland since his gruesome left leg injury that he suffered on Mar. 25, 2019.
Before entering the game, Hood had Rip City on his mind.
The 28-year-old admitted that it took him a few possessions to get back into the flow of a game, but the extremely positive news is:
He felt good physically.
“The first couple of minutes was a little fast for me,” Hood said. “I had to get the pace down a little bit… After the first couple of minutes I felt good to get up and down.”
The Blazers have two preseason games remaining: Both in Denver next week.
Hood has said during training camp that he will be on a minutes restriction for a handful of games, while not knowing exactly how many.
Sunday after the Blazers' loss to the Kings, Coach Stotts explained how the team is hopeful to not have to limit Hood come the start of the regular season on Dec. 23 against Utah.
“We play a game in 10 days or so, hopefully he’ll be able to play the amount of minutes we need him to play off the bench,” Stotts added.
Even more good news:
Hood didn’t think about his leg when he played his 12 minutes of action on Sunday.
“I’m not really hesitant about it.”
Hood mentioned that his Achilles is still a little sore, but he expects that at this point while finally being able to play five-on-five. In his limited action, Hood made sure to find his teammates, finishing with four assists to go along with two points and two rebounds.