Utah Jazz point guard Dante Exum suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during an exhibition game between the Australian and Slovenian national teams in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Tuesday night, the Utah Jazz confirmed on Thursday. The injury, which was first reported by Jazz radio host Tim Montemayor, will likely keep Exum out for the entire 2015-16 NBA season.
The Jazz initially didn't diagnose the knee injury, treating Exum on site before announcing he would return to Salt Lake City for further evaluation by the team's medical staff. Word of a torn ACL started spreading afterwards, and now we have confirmation of the diagnosis.
Exum, 20, suffered the injury after "driving into the paint and jump stopping without contact before going to the ground," according to Sports Illustrated. Here's a brief video of the play:
Exum, who was drafted by the Jazz with the No. 5 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, has been one of Australia's top players in recent years. He was playing as part of a series of warmup games before the FIBA Oceania championships, a two-game series starting Aug. 15 between Australia and New Zealand that will decide which team earns an automatic spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Now Exum will not only miss that international competition but presumably the upcoming NBA season, too. A torn ACL typically requires a lengthy recovery process that could last up to a year. It's a major blow for an up-and-coming Jazz team that was hoping to see Exum break out as a sophomore following a relatively quiet debut season in the NBA. Now, the team will likely have to lean on Trey Burke yet again to shoulder the load at point guard.