Dante Exum to have surgery on injured shoulder

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    Dante Exum knew he had a significant injury the moment he awkwardly hit the floor during an NBA pre-season game earlier this month.

    The diagnosis was a separated shoulder, and the Utah guard and the team took the next 10 days to decide what to do.

    The 22-year-old Australian saw three doctors and spoke to several more before deciding to have a surgery on October 24, which will keep him out for an unknown amount of time.

    “Even just walking back (to the locker room), obviously I was frustrated,” Exum said.

    “Everything was going through my head. I remember just looking up at everybody and they were just speechless. Didn’t know what to say.

    “A lot of people within the Jazz organisation know how hard I’ve worked to get to the point I was.

    “To get an injury like that and the way it took place just sucked.”

    There were non-surgical options for Exum, but the decision was made in his long-term interest after talking to family, his agent and the Jazz.

    That, however, complicates things in the short-term financially.

    The 2014 No.5 overall pick was hoping to have a breakout year as a restricted free agent.

    Now, Exum won’t have a strong season of work to argue for a bigger contract and the Jazz, or another team, don’t have any incentive to offer a more lucrative deal.

    Exum has already begun some rehab work to strengthen the joint before the surgery and plans to be in a sling for some time.

    The rehab challenge will be getting all the strength and range of motion back and making sure the joint is stable.

    “Right now we’re not looking at (a timeline),” Exum said.

    “We’re just focusing on the rehab and see where it takes us.”

    © AP 2017

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