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

8:14 PM ETTim MacMahonESPN Staff Writer CloseJoined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas MavericksAppears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FMOAKLAND, Calif. — Portland Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood has been cleared to play in Tuesday’s 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 on Sunday in Denver, 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 Sunday’s contest, 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 Western Conference 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 in Portland.

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