Aussies in NBA: Jazz confirmed Exum's ACL tear, surgery to follow
It is exactly what we feared it would be. After an MRI scan and examination conducted in Salt Lake City's University of Utah, Jazz physicians have officially diagnosed Dante Exum's injury as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, suffered during a practice game in Slovenia.
The extent of the tear is not known. Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey has emphasized in the official release, that there was a need to gain full understanding of Exum's injury, to ensure that there is no further damage, and to explore recommended treatment options, with the guard's long-term health viewed as the top priority.
Outside of missing the upcoming FIBA Oceania Championship games with the Boomers, Exum could possibly sit a full season out with the Jazz as well - this would obviously depend on the speed of recovery post-surgery.
During a radio interview with 1280 The Zone, Lindsey also confirmed that Exum's swelling has gone down and that he is able to straighten his left leg. This bodes well for potential surgery that will likely be needed for reconstructive ACL work.
Jazz teammate Gordon Hayward has expressed optimism and support during an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, calling the injury a "tough blow", but a minor setback in the long term.
Fellow Boomer and Jazz teammate, Joe Ingles has also reached out to Exum earlier. Ingles suggests that Rio could be Exum's first big game post-injury, but is confident that Exum, with everyone's support, will recover and come out of it "bigger and better, and no doubt, a better player than what he is now".
During the Boomers' press conference today, coach Andrej Lemanis called Exum's injury "heartbreaking", and confirmed that the team would give all the support it could from Down Under. Coach Lemanis also mentioned the possibility of adding Patty Mills as a replacement, calling Mills a "logical fit" given his ability and experience with the Boomers.
There was no mention from Lindsey on finding a replacement guard to fill Exum's gap. Lindsey has stated that he has not had any conversations about players outside of the team.
Deseret News journalist Jody Genessy has reported the possibility of the team trading for Washington guard Garrett Temple, with head coach Quin Snyder apparently favouring the move.
Temple's size and length makes him a suitable prospect as Exum's replacement, and his projected salary of $1.1 million this coming season certainly doesn't hurt. The Wizards guard has also admitted to having a firm relationship with coach Snyder in the D-League previously, as reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington.
Rest well Dante, all of us will be looking forward to your eventual return to the court.