Utah’s Dante Exum has knee surgery to repair partially torn patellar tendon

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Dante Exum just cannot stay healthy.

He played 39 of Utah’s first 40 games this season, playing solidly — but maybe not as well as hoped for a guy signed to a three-year contract extension last summer — as a reserve. But the injury bug cannot leave him alone. Exum has played in just three games since Jan. 7, and the team announced back in December he had a partially torn patellar tendon. Now he has had surgery to repair it, which was not a surprise but is now official.

The patellar tendon ligament connects the bottom of the kneecap to the shin. Recovery times on patellar tendon injuries vary, but the Thunder’s Andre Roberson has missed this entire season because of one. Other players have returned quicker.

Exum has $19.2 million fully guaranteed over the two seasons after this one on his contract.

After playing a full 82 games his rookie season, he has played in 122 games total over the next four years (37 percent of the possible games he could be in by the end of this season).