The Jazz may have defeated the Suns 112-101 in their preseason game on Friday, but the bigger storyline happened when point guard Dante Exum left the game with what the team announced as a left shoulder injury.
Late in the first quarter, Exum drove towards the basket and collided with Suns forward TJ Warren before crashing to the floor. Exum then ran to the locker room holding his shoulder, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
After the game, Utah coach Quin Snyder didn’t sound optimistic when he told reporters that Exum had been taken to the hospital for an MRI.
“I don’t want to speculate,” Snyder said. “But if you saw the shoulder, it didn’t look good.”
Exum was the No. 5 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but injuries continue to remain a problem for the four-year forward who missed all of the 2015-16 season with a torn ACL. Exum also dealt with tendinitis in addition to other issues in 2016-17.
“I feel bad for him,” Jazz forward Derrick Favors said. “He’s a guy who has been working hard all summer. He’s probably been one of the best guys in training camp.”
The Jazz play the Suns Oct. 9 followed by the Lakers Oct. 10 in back-to-back road games to finish the preseason before opening the regular season Oct. 18 in Utah against the Nuggets. If Exum will be sidelined for an extended period, the team will be forced to make changes to their rotation.