Fingers crossed, Duke awaits word on Hood Achilles injury

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 08:31 PM

Rodney Hood, expected to be a major player for Duke in the upcoming basketball season, has suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury while practicing with USA Basketball in Colorado Springs, Colo..

Hood, a redshirt sophomore who transferred to Duke from Mississippi State last season, was injured late Wednesday night. The full extent of the injury has yet to be determined although the initial indications are the tendon is not torn.

Hood is being examined by the medical team at the USA Basketball Training Center, where the 16 players under consideration for the national team that will participate in next month’s World University Games are practicing.

A ruptured or torn Achilles’ tendon would likely make Hood unavailable for the Blue Devils this season. But that kind of injury is normally detected shortly after it occurs.

That fact that further testing, such as an MRI exam, is needed is a sign the injury isn’t expected to be as serious as that.

Hood used crutches following the injury, which occurred in a practice session Wednesday night.

The U.S. World University Games team’s roster will be cut to 12 by Sunday and the team will depart for Russia on Monday. The World University Games are July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.

USA Basketball spokeswoman Jenny Maag said Hood, despite his injury, remains under consideration for the team.

The 6-8, 210-pound Hood sat out last season at Duke under NCAA transfer rules. He was able to practice with the Blue Devils and the coaching staff expects him to be one of the team’s top players next season.

An athletic wing player from Meridian, Miss., Hood played his freshman season at Mississippi State. He made the Southeastern Conference’s all-freshman team after averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He sank 44 percent of his shots, including 36.4 percent of his 3-pointers.

Hood was a two-time Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year at Meridian High School.

Hood is not the only ACC player to suffer an injury while attempting to make the World University Games team. North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston injured his back during a practice on June 25 and has returned home.