We've been waiting for the penny to drop on Dante Exum's injury for two days now, and this afternoon the Jazz officially confirmed our worst fears:
Text of the full press release follows below:
Exum suffered a left knee injury on Aug. 4 while competing for the Australian National Team in a game against the Slovenian National Team in Ljubljana, Slovenia. After returning to Salt Lake City, he underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at University of Utah Health Care's Orthopaedic Center this morning. Following the examination, Jazz physicians Dr. Travis Maak and Dr. David Petron determined that Exum sustained a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.
"First and foremost, our overriding concern is with Danté and his long-term health," said Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey. "We are continuing to work closely with our medical staff, Danté and his representation in order to reach an accurate diagnosis and recommended treatment so that we can provide him with the best possible care. We all know how hard he will work to make a full recovery and look forward to his return to play."
Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
We'll try to keep you updated on his prognosis and recovery, but judging by other basketball-related ACL tears, don't expect to see Exum on the court for at least six months at the very earliest. Previous reports indicated that the Jazz would shut Exum down for the whole 2015-16 season if the injury was confirmed.
The Jazz now face the decision of heading into the season with Trey Burke, Raul Neto and Bryce Cotton at point guard, attempting to trade for or sign veteran help, filling the gaps with Alec Burks and others as nominal point guards, or some combination of all three.
This news is a massive bummer for Jazz fans, as Exum seemed primed for his first full season as a starter and ready to develop his offensive game after showing such promise on defense last season. The Jazz's chances at a playoff spot in the West may not change too drastically -- that was always going to be a struggle -- but the timetable for internal development we've heard so much about has just suffered a huge delay.
No other way to spin it, folks. This sucks.