Dante Exum is in the “last stage” of what’s been a five-month process to return from a preseason shoulder injury.
The Utah Jazz assigned the 6-foot-6 guard to their G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, for a closed practice Tuesday, which the team described as the final step in his arduous recovery. Jazz coach Quin Snyder said last week that Exum had not yet participated in five-on-five contact play. Practicing with the Stars likely gives him that opportunity.
The Jazz recalled Exum from the Stars later in the afternoon Tuesday.
Exum is expected to bolster a thin Jazz guard rotation after the team learned Monday that it would have to sit Raul Neto with a fractured wrist. Exum, a 22-year-old former lottery pick from Australia, had a promising offseason and training camp cut off when he was injured in a preseason game during a fall and had surgery soon after.
Exum only has appeared in 148 games in his fourth season with the Jazz. He missed the entire 2015-16 season with a knee injury. He’s averaged 5.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds in his NBA career.
The Jazz only ever have sent two players on rehab assignments with the Stars. They sent Alec Burks on one last season.