Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images
Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum goes through full practice, says 'I'm feeling really good'
Danté Exum sees Bojan Bogdanović knock down an open 3, and the point guard wants to get the sharpshooter another one. Exum watches his teammates swarm opponents on defense and he wants to pick up a ballhandler at half court and hound him for 24 seconds, too.
And after months of rehab and work behind the scenes, Exum is getting closer to joining the Utah Jazz on the court.
“I’m feeling really good,” Exum said Wednesday.
The 24-year-old has been working his way back since having surgery last season to repair a partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee. On Tuesday, Exum went through a full practice with the Jazz.
“It’s good to get back out there with the guys,” Exum said. “Just with the schedule it’s been a little tough to get one of those full practices in, but I was able to yesterday.”
Exum and the Jazz have not set a firm target for his return.
“It’s just going on how I feel,” he said. “I can’t say it’s going to be whenever. It’s just going to be about the right preparation and when I’m ready.”
Due to the Jazz’s schedule, some of that preparation for Exum has included full practices with the Salt Lake City Stars.
“They’ve been helping me prepare,” he said. “It’s been really good. Just to get up and down with them has been good. They’re a competitive bunch of guys.”
Exum’s next step in his return to the court?
“Just continue to get the conditioning up,” he said. “That’s the most important thing, so I’m not on the back foot and trying to catch up. I [am] going to be ready to go 100 percent from the start. … Conditioning obviously goes down with not being able to run the first three or four months. That’s definitely the hardest. And then you have your sore days. But now I’ve been feeling good and getting on the court and getting up and down the way I want to.”
The guard is eager to join his teammates, and Exum said he is in good spirits as he continues to make progress toward that goal.
“When you’ve come out of the trenches that I’ve had to come out of, this is small for me,” he said. “So as soon as I feel comfortable and once I’m ready to go I’ll be giving 100 percent.”