It’s yet another spot of bad luck for Jazz guard Dante Exum.
Exum was diagnosed with a partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee after an MRI on Friday, adding to his lengthy list of injuries since he was drafted five years ago. Exum had just returned three games prior from a sprained ankle — and associated bone bruise — that cost him 25 games.
The Jazz announced that Exum is out indefinitely. The team and Exum will seek multiple medical opinions on how to best treat the injury, and decide how long Exum will be out. If it requires surgery, he’ll likely be out for the remainder of the season.
"We’ll see what happens going forward as far as the extent and what needs to happen to get him healthy, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.
Exum had played well before the ankle injury, his season crescendoing with a stretch of good performances in late December. He went scoreless in three games, though, since returning. Overall, he’s appeared in 42 games, with averages of 6.9 points, 2.6 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game.
For now, backup point guard Raul Neto figures to get the minutes that might normally be allotted to Exum. Neto’s played well since returning from injury, but the Jazz will miss Exum’s length and ability to defend quicker guards, especially in potential playoff series against Portland or Houston.
“Your heart breaks for him. He’s had a tough stretch with injuries, not just this year. You want to play basketball, you want to compete, this is what we think about every day, what we work for every day,” teammate Kyle Korver said. “When it’s taken from you, it’s a hard thing.”
Snyder echoed that sentiment.
“You just feel awful for him, first and foremost. Knowing the progress that we saw up until the point that he hurt his ankle, and again working to where he could come back,” Snyder said. “For a young man, he’s been through a lot in terms of injury. ... He has a long career ahead of him and we can continue to use it to get better.”
Exum was not made available to the media on Saturday.