Duke's Rodney Hood: Achilles not torn, out 4-6 weeks
Duke’s medical staff determined Friday that Rodney Hood does not have a torn Achilles’ tendon but that he’ll be sidelined for a month or more to let his injury heal.
Hood, a 6-8 redshirt sophomore forward, injured his right foot Wednesday night while practicing with USA Basketball’s World University Games team in Colorado Springs, Colo.
USA Basketball’s medical staff determined that Hood, one of 16 finalists for the 12-man national team, would not be able to continue with the team and he returned to Durham on Friday.
Duke’s medical staff examined his injury and diagnosed him with a strain of the soft tissue around the Achilles’ tendon. Hood is expected to be sidelined some 4 to 6 weeks while he receives treatment to allow the affected area to heal. No surgical procedure is needed.
“The injury is not believed to be serious but it will require the proper rest and treatment to heal completely,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Rodney is in good spirits and we’re excited to know that he’ll be healthy and ready to go in 2013-14.”
Ricky Hood, Rodney’s father, said Friday that his son is experiencing “swelling and soreness” in his right foot.
“We know there is no tear,” Ricky Hood said. “But there is a lot of soreness and that kind of thing.”
Team USA head coach Bob McKillop, Davidson’s head coach, announced Friday that Hood was leaving the team due to the injury.
“I feel so sorry for Rodney,” McKillop said. “He committed himself fully to be a part of this team, and we will miss him. He would have been a valuable team member for USA Basketball.”
USA Basketball’s World University Games team will leave Monday for Russia, where it will compete from July 7-16.
Ricky Hood said Rodney is disappointed to miss out on the experience of competing internationally. But taking care of the injury without pushing things was more important.
“He feels like its something he can treat and we have total confidence in the Duke training staff,” Ricky Hood said. “It’s a missed opportunity for him but we’d rather be safe than sorry.”
A Southeastern Conference all-freshman team pick in 2011-12, Hood transferred to Duke and sat out last season per NCAA rules. An athletic wing who averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebound and 2.0 assists for Mississippi State, Hood was one of 26 players invited to tryout for the U.S. World University Games team.
McKillop and his staff trimmed that roster to 16 on June 26 and, with Hood’s departure, will have to cut three more players before the team heads to Russia.
After seeing Hood practice with the Blue Devils throughout last season, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff are expecting him to be a major player for the team in the upcoming season.
“Rodney’s got great size for a wing,” Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski said last month. “He has tremendous versatility. Rodney can guard any of the 1 through 4 positions in the college game and I think he can do it very well. He wants to be a terrific defender. He’s got the athleticism and the strength to do it. He’s also got the smarts to do it. I think Rodney can be one of the best players in the United States.”
Ricky Hood said his son, having sat out last season, is eager to play again. But he said treating this injury by staying off the court now makes sense so Rodney Hood can be ready for Duke’s regular season in November.