Just two weeks removed from surgery to repair a separated shoulder, Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum says everything has gone well so far as he begins a long recovery process.
"At this point in time it's really slow with the rehab," Exum told ESPN. "The biggest thing is to just let the surgery heal, and what they repaired to just settle down. A lot of it is just slight movements, kind of just getting the range of motion back in my shoulder and just letting it heal.
"I'm where I should be [and] it's feeling really good."
Exum hurt his left shoulder while driving to the basket during a preseason game on Oct. 7, and, while the Jazz have not set a timetable for his return, he is expected to miss yet another full season of basketball; he previously missed all of the 2015-16 campaign with having torn and anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Australian national team. Still, Exum is in a good place mentally now, crediting his support system with helping him through a tough time.
"I'm doing good," Exum said. "I got through surgery, I have my dad out here so the support's been really good. Obviously it's going to be a lot of hard work ahead, but it's going well so far."
The latest injury represents a huge setback for Exum, who played 66 games for the Jazz last season, starting 26 and averaging 6.2 points and 1.7 assists per game. His minutes, however, were spotty at stages through the season, but during Summer League and the early part of preseason this year he began showing signs why Utah selected him with the fifth overall pick in 2014.
Exum has able to observe the team's play this season and, from what he's seen while sidelined, he says Joe Ingles on both ends of the floor this season has been impressive.
"He's been great - not even with just shooting the ball [but also] his ability to play make," Exum said of his good friend, who is having a career-year through the first 10 games.
"He's an underrated defender ... he's a hustle guy in trying to get to the ball and irritate guys on the defensive end." As for that hot shooting to which Exum alluded, Ingles has connected on 25 of his 52 three-point attempts. Exum says he's encouraging Ingles to shoot even more.
"His shot's been working, I've been telling him to keep shooting. He's shooting about three-to-five [three-pointers] a game, I'm telling him to get it up to eight. He's a really good shooter. Sometimes in a possession, the best shot is him shooting a shot." Utah are looking to improve on last season's showing, in which they lost in the conference semifinals to Golden State Warriors. The team is currently at 5-5, but have yet to win away from the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Exum says the team appears to have bought into coach Quinn Snyder's defensive systems.
"It's one thing we've tried to pride ourselves on. Just being around practice -- and even playing during the preseason -- it was one thing that we did and we're sticking to ... even though we lost [against Houston], it was all about defense; how can we improve on getting better."