Blazers' Hood (knee) cleared to play in Game 1


OAKLAND, Calif. – Portland Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood has been cleared to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, just two days after suffering a bone bruise in his left knee.

Hood was injured in the third quarter of Portland’s Game 7 victory Sunday, going down awkwardly after Nuggets guard Torrey Craig set a back screen on him.

“I’m solid,” Hood said after warming up. “There’s still some soreness. It’s just something that I’m going to have to manage and deal with it.”

Hood did not return to that game, and the Trail Blazers originally referred to the injury as a hyperextended left knee. An MRI revealed a bone bruise, and Hood was listed as questionable for Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors.

Hood, who was acquired in a midseason trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, played a critical role in Portland’s West semifinals series victory. He averaged 14.7 points per game on 57.6 percent shooting off the bench, highlighted by a 25-point performance in the Blazers’ Game 6 win.

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